BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A harsh reality for students at five Baltimore City public schools.
Board members voted Tuesday night to close those schools — Coldstream Park Elementary/Middle School, Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology, Rognel Heights Elementary/Middle School, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson Elementary/Middle School, and Knowledge and Success Academy — citing low enrollment and lacking academic performance.
Another school in west Baltimore, Williams Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School, is potentially on the chopping block, too. It received a temporary reprieve from the board after lobbying by the community, the vote delayed until January 23.
Students and funding that currently go to the five shuttered schools will be re-directed to larger schools.
“If you’re so small, you don’t have enough resources to provide that rich and varied programming,” says Angela Alvarez, who works for the school system.
That means consolidated schools, where full classrooms will equal more funding and, with that, more programs for kids.
“We want to make sure that we’re using resources that belong to all of us in a way that’s appropriate and supports our students,” Alvarez says.
“I don’t think you’ll find a parent at this school that is happy,” says Coldstream community leader Mark Washington.
It’s a hard lesson in change for students and parents who fought to keep schools open.
“It’s hard to see a school that has had such a historic past and relationship with the school system close,” Washington says.