Parents and district discuss possible merger of two Moline schools

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MOLINE -- The Moline School District has thrown out the proposal to once again merge elementary schools.

This time it would be Willard and Lincoln-Irving Elementary schools.

The district is looking at merging the schools as sister schools, a way to even out class sizes and offer dual-language at both schools. Right now it's only offered at Lincoln-Irving.

Students from kindergarten through third grade would go to Lincoln-Irving and fourth and fifth graders would attend Willard.

However, parents say it creates a transportation problem, because the district doesn't provide it.

"This is a definite burden for our family that works you know, seven days a week like I do. I manage a bank and it's hard for me to get my children back and forth to school. I refuse to put them on public transportation," said Lisa Huntley.

For some parents this would be the second move for their kids, after the district chose to close Garfield and Ericsson Elementary schools.

After hearing all the concerns, the superintendent recommended to the board to keep the schools the same, but allowing parents to choose between dual-language at Lincoln-Irving or traditional programs at Willard.

"Right now at Willard it`s a one class per grade level building and so with that you have some ups and downs as far as enrollment, so hopefully this will help even some of that out," said superintendent, Lanty McGuire.

The school district will hold more public meetings to see what staff and parents think of the recommendation before making any decisions.

Any changes made will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.