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KC-MO School Board Approves Major Reorganization

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By Sylvia Maria Gross

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-583484.mp3

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Missouri school board voted 5 to 2 to approve the superintendent's reorganization plan of the district's schools. Starting in the fall, the district will implement universal pre-kindergarten, and most middle schools will be phased out in favor of a kindergarten to eighth grade configuration. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.

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NARR: Before the vote, newly elected city council member Sharon Sanders Brooks told the board and community members that she was concerned about the effect of closing schools in neighborhoods in her district. School board member Marilyn Simmons said she didn't have enough budget information to approve the plan

TAPE: SIMMONS: I have to wait til I get the information I can't go on pretty words anymore.

Superintendent Anthony Amato said that specific budget projections and the boundaries for the new K to 8 schools would be available by the end of May. Amato said his consolidation plan will return the concept of neighborhood schools to the district.

AMATO: We are not looking back, and this is going to be a top of the line urban system in a very short amount of time.

In the fall, fifth graders will remain at their elementary schools, except for students attending the specialized Paseo and Lincoln Middle Schools. The African-centered schools will be moving to Southeast High School.

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