While many expected it, it's now official. The Class of 2012 will be the last to leave Davenport's Lincoln Elementary School.
On Monday, April 9th, 2012, board members with the Davenport Community School District voted 5 to 2 to close the school. Shutting it down will save the district $1,361,580 and help the district cut more than $3 million from its 2012-2013 budget.
Lincoln Elementary has been dealing with declining enrollment for years. This year, it's at one-third of its capacity. Superintendent Art Tate says Lincoln students will merge with students at J.B. Young Intermediate School, which will begin teaching kindergarten through 8th grade next year.
Board members said their decision was a difficult one, but added that their responsibility is to think long-term, not short-term.
"One of the things I'm most concerned with is the long-term viability of our schools, "said Richard Clewell, who has been on the Davenport School Board since 2001. "We're talking about a 2012-2013 budget here, but it's more than that."
"This is not an easy decision for any of us," said Ralph Johanson, President of the Davenport School Board. "However we vote, it's made with the best intentions of what we think is best for the district and the students."
Superintendent Tate says the majority of teachers from Lincoln Elementary are expected to keep their jobs next year. The district will have a bidding process to figure out who will go where.