Burlington repurposing one elementary school, restructuring middle schools

BURLINGTON, Iowa-- The Burlington School Board approved a final plan to restructure its school.

The former James Madison Middle School could be demolished with Corse Elementary being repurposed.

The district will now have four schools with pre-school through fourth grade, one middle school with fifth and sixth graders and the other middle school for seventh and eighth grades.

The realignment is expected to save about $1 million, according to KBUR. The changes would be in place for next school year.

"I know we are in a tough spot and we're going to have to make some tough decisions, but I'm asking you to consider doing this over more than one year so we can completely plan out everything and make it well done and the least disruptive to the education," one parent said during the meeting.

The "right-sizing" of the schools is aimed at cutting costs throughout the district. It's also looking at ways to offer early retirement over the next two years.

"I think it's been a stressful time for the community to consider change," Board President Bryan Bross says, "but with a declining population, we're forced to make some decisions. We've been making cuts over the last few years, several years, but we don't want to cut programs. We don't want to cut staff."

The district says its struggling with falling enrollment due to a declining birth rate in the area.

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