GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - "A year from now, it is my plan that GRPS will not look the same," Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal told 24 Hour News 8. "It's going to be a tough year."
Over the next year, as many as a dozen schools could close, the boundaries may change and an almost-definite curriculum shake-up will take place across West Michigan's largest district.
GRPS is looking at the cold, hard facts:
- Of the district's 40+ schools, 20 are less than 70% full.
- 10 schools in the district are theme or specialty schools, and half of those are at least 95% full
- Enrollment ranges from a low of 40% full to a high of 113% capacity
"You can't cut your way out of this," Neal said. "Changes are happening. We can't sit and wait every year to find out now what's the magic number to cut. You can't educate children that way. We need a plan."
But making all school specialty schools is not necessarily the answer.
"To someone not understanding specialty schools, many of the children are bussed to schools and I'm not against against neighborhood schools or specialty schools, I love them all," she said. "But I think that this is where we're going to have to come together and come to some sort of an agreement to say what is best for this community."
Neal said the goal is to make sure she hears from as many people as possible, even those without kids in the district.
No matter what happens, though, some people are going to be unhappy.
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