The future still unclear for three Bettendorf elementary schools

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BETTENDORF, Iowa - Parents in the Bettendorf School District say they're getting impatient.
They want to know whether three elementary schools will stay open or be close but the decision is taking so long.

The Bettendorf School Board has been talking about the three schools for over a year. Parents thought they would learn more about the plans for Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson and Grant Wood schools on Monday, January 9 2017 but left again with no answers.

"We are really concerned about your urgency but the problem is people are losing faith in the decision making process," said one parent.

Last year, board members started looking at three elementary schools; Grant Wood, Mark Twain and Thomas Jefferson. They're considering renovating or closing one or more of the schools. The district could also build a brand new school.

Board members approved a renovation at Grant Wood last year but backed off when costs got too high.

"We were coming in substantial over budget. The original numbers were $9 million and came in around $12 million," says Bettendorf School Board Director, Gordon Staley.

Now, the district is right back where it started with three schools and no clear way forward.

Parents say the delays are only hurting students.

"Let’s go back to what we need. We need awesome teachers, awesome schools and we need the community together," says Jennie Blackman.

If the board decides to close a school and build new it would also have to draw new boundaries that would impact families in the district.

The board will meet again in February.

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