Future of elementary school to be debated
CUBA, KY- The green and yellow marquee outside Cuba Elementary alerts those driving by of an upcoming Grandparents Day.
Keith Lowry's three youngest grandchildren are under the age of 3 but he is hoping he will have the chance to visit for Grandparents Day in the coming years.
"I understand the dollars and cents of everything but sometimes we just got to make sacrifices to keep the little school," he said.
Sacrifices could mean cuts at other schools, but in the end, it would likely keep Cuba Elementary open.
Closing the school is something no one, not even the superintendent wants to see happen. But thanks to state and federal cuts, the district has to save at least $400,000 in the coming year.
Graves County Superintendent Pete Galloway says the choices are grim; cut programs and teachers or save the jobs but lose Cuba Elementary.
Acknowledging Cuba's high performance and a dedicated staff, Galloway says the last thing he wants to do is close the school. But, he said, the district does need to tighten its belt and closing the school could be a possibility.
If the school would close, the students would be split among Wingo, Sedalia and Farmington. The teachers, he says, would follow the students.
Cuba mother Julie Vaughan says she would like to see the elementary school stay open. She says her three children are thriving there.
"I love it, they're actually getting it. The teacher can sit with them and explain to them better," she said of the school's intimate learning environment.
The Vaughan children are all in classes of 20 or less. But those low numbers are exactly what has the district concerned. The school has just 155 students enrolled. The state mandates at least 300 students need to be enrolled for a school to be cost-efficient.
While Lowry acknowledges budgetary hurdles, he says he values a good education, "I was here and hopefully my grand kids will be here."
Keith Lowry has organized a meeting to discuss the future of Cuba Elementary- and the superintendent will be on hand.
The meeting is at the Cuba Elementary Gymnasium this Thursday, from 6-8 p.m. Anyone interested in speaking should contact the Cuba school office before noon on Wednesday.