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Education

Parents Rally Behind African Centered Schools

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Superintendent John Covington and Public Relations Director Eileen Houston-Stewart hear from a middle school student. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-886338.mp3

Kansas City, Mo. – Hundreds of people turned out last night to voice their opposition to the Kansas City Missouri school district's proposal to close about 30 schools. It was the third in a week-long series of forums to collect public opinion about the proposal.

Many of the parents and students at this hearing came to voice their support for the district's African Centered Education or ACE schools, which currently occupy three buildings on the campus of what used to be Southeast High School. The superintendent has proposed merging the ACE elementary, middle and high schools into one building. Parent Stacey Jackson asked him to reconsider, saying the ACE programs are successful and growing.

"We anticipate that this will continue to grow," Jackson said, and "draw new students to the upper campus."

Parents and students also spoke out against closing Knotts Elementary, and merging middle schools with high schools.

District officials presented budget data that showed that without consolidating schools, the school district will soon be bankrupt.

Superintendent John Covington says he'll consider community feedback from the forums when he drafts a final plan to present to the school board next Wednesday. The board can then approve the plan, or send it back for revisions.

Remaining Forums:

Friday, Feb. 19, 6:30p.m. at Foreign Language Academy, 3450 Warwick
(Attucks, Border Star, Douglas, Foreign Language Academy, Garcia, Hartman, Lincoln College Prep, Lincoln Middle, Longan, Longfellow, Manual, Phillips, Southwest, Swinney, Westport, Westport Middle, Wheatley)

Saturday, Feb. 20, 10:30 a.m. to noon at J.A. Rogers Elementary, 6400 E. 23rd St.

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