Hurricanes, population loss contribute to closing of five Robeson schools
Faced with a budget deficit of more than $2 million and declining enrollment, the Robeson County Board of Education has closed five schools.Posted — Updated
- Janie C. Hargrave Elementary School in Lumberton
- Rowland Middle School in Rowland
- Green Grove Elementary School in Fairmont
- R.B. Dean Elementary School in Maxton
The school district has lost close to 1,700 students over the last four years, district spokesman Gordon Burnette told WRAL News.
"There's different things that have impacted this, but mainly the two hurricanes," Burnette said.
The departures meant less state funding for students, leaving the school district with a budget shortfall. District leaders figured they could save money by consolidating the remaining students into fewer schools.
Shannon Shay said the closings affect both of her children.
"My oldest that's in, he's in ninth grade this year. He would have been going to South Robeson High School, but he's going to Fairmont [High School] now," Shay said. "My youngest, he was going, he would have been at Green Grove [Elementary], but now he goes to South Robeson [Intermediate School]."
"The Public School System of Robeson County has had to shift things around, make different decisions that were difficult. but we're proud to say no one has lost a job. no one was fired," Burnette said.
School leaders say they were able to consolidate staff positions without firing anyone through natural attrition and retirements.
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