Some Morehouse Parish schools might shut down

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MOREHOUSE PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The new superintendent said flat out the district is broke, which is why his office is being forced to consider closing two schools.

They're getting big pushback Thursday night at a school board meeting from board members and the community.

Laronda Hardy, a parent, sat worried as she watches her children's school leaders fight over how to keep Morehouse Parish School System afloat.

"They're failing our kids. That's the bottom line," Hardy said.

She's been through at least three school consolidations. Now, she's back in this meeting hearing about another one.

"They never listen to the parents; they don't even listen to each other most of the time. So, I don't know what's going to happen with Morehouse Parish School Systems," Hardy said.

The Morehouse Parish School System has a projected 1.5 million dollar deficit, which is why the superintendent David Gray and other officials are asking the board to approve two elementary closures.

"And combine those two elementary schools into the current Delta K-8. Closing the junior high portion there and moving it into the junior high that we have here in town then Delta would become the parish k4," Gray said.

They also talked about more than 50 layoffs throughout the system, but some board members and the community don't like what's on the table.

One board member suggests having virtual teachers to avoid crowded classrooms if the schools shut down. Gray said they don't have much of a choice unless they want the state to come in and take over, or employees won't get paid.

"I always have to remember we're talking about human beings. We're talking about people with families right at the holiday season," Gray said.

Meaning nobody wins.

"It's a losing battle, we're trying to fight, but it's a losing battle," Hardy said.

Gray said the board must decide by December, which would mean schools could close come January.

It's up to the board president to set a special meeting to vote.

No word on when that would be.