GRANITE CITY — Another school district is considering closing an elementary school to cope with ongoing loss of funds.
Niedringhaus Elementary was built in 1928 and housed 485 students last year, with a 67 percent low-income rate. Still, 75.8 percent of its students met or exceeded state standards on the ISAT test last year.
As school officials look at a district-wide restructuring plan, they are considering closing the school and reassigning its K-4 students to other schools.
Granite City has lost $4 million in revenue a year, not including the drop in property values, according to Superintendent Harry Briggs. Transportation funding has been cut by 60 percent, with the state is prorating its obligations in per-student funding to the tune of $2.3 million this year alone.
"If it continues to happen, we'll continue to lose money," Briggs said.
Granite City is now projecting a $7.5 million deficit at the end of the year, Briggs said. But the district is not considering a property tax increase.
"I think people are taxed already and aren't willing to be taxed more," Briggs said. "It's incumbent upon us to do our due diligence, look at how we structure our programs and cut costs as much as we can before we have to do that. It's the last resort as far as I'm concerned."
Also in the plan: consolidating grades 5 and 6 into one building and a junior high with grades 7 and 8 in another building.
The district plans to hold a parent informational meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Granite City High School performing arts center.
Parents are requested to send questions in advance or in writing at the start of the event to allow answers to be provided both at the meeting and on the district website. Questions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and further details can be found on the district site at www.gcsd9.net.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at email@example.com or 239-2501.