Friday, May 12, 2006

School Board Votes To Close Blackhurst and Benton Schools, Keep Lincoln & Null Open

By Phyllis Schaltenbrand

As we went to press Thursday evening we learned that the St. Charles School Board voted to Close Blackhurst and Benton Schools and keep Lincoln and Null schools open.

More than 150 parents and school employees attended the emotional packed meeting. A number of teachers whose schools were being closed were observed crying as they left the meeting.

School board member Wayne Oetting pointed out that 77 percent of Null school Students were not bus riders and that appeared to be one of the deciding factors in keeping Null open.

At the meeting there were five speakers asking that Null be kept open and only one person asking to keep Blackhurst open. Null sits on 14 acres and is close to McNair Park. The students at Null also have one of the highest test scores in the district. Board member Oetting was pushing to keep Null open and board member Towers was pushing to keep Blackhurst open.

The recent tax increase the School Board had requested at the April election failed by 72 percent.

The School Board is planning on moving the administration offices into Benton School which is located on North Sixth Street.