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Jenkins School Board votes to close McRoberts Elementary

By: Tanner Hesterberg Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg Email

JENKINS, Ky. (WYMT) - A Letcher County school that is more than 100 years old is closing.

The Jenkins Independent School Board voted 5-0 on Monday to shut down McRoberts Elementary.

"With reduced SEEK funding and reduced federal and state funding, we just can't really continue to operate under that scenario," board member Tracy Goff said. "it's a somber day, to say the least."

Closing McRoberts Elementary will save more than $100 thousand per year, board members said.

"It came to a point where we had to determine whether to keep funding the school at a loss or go ahead and bite the bullet and close it down," board chairman Durward Narramore said.

School officials anticipated 34 students to attend McRoberts this year.

"The enrollment had shown a little bit of an increase from 2008 through probably 2011," Goff said. "But it's really taken a hit last year and looking ahead to this coming year."

The eight full-time employees at McRoberts Elementary will not be laid off. Those workers will be assigned to other positions within the school system, board members said.

There was also a teacher considered "half" an employee at McRoberts because that teacher split time at other schools.

"If you lose your community, you can still have your school," Narramore said. "But it's not the other way around. Once you lose your school, your community is pretty well gone. But we're hoping that doesn't happen."

School officials have not decided what to do with the McRoberts school building.

McRoberts students who want to stay in the Jenkins school system will be able to go to Burdine Elementary.

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