K.C. District Shuts Down 29 Schools to Avert Bankruptcy

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

On the verge of bankruptcy, the Kansas City School District plans to shut down nearly half of its schools by fall 2010, which will shuffle thousands of students and cut hundreds of jobs.

In a 5-4 school board vote March 10, the school board voted to close 29 of the district’s 61 schools. By doing this, as many as 700 of the district’s 3,000 jobs will be removed, reports the Associated Press.

School officials say the changes are necessary in order to preserve what is left of the $2 billion it received in the mid-1980s to desegregate the schools. The transitional plan itself will cost $25 million.

Additionally, school officials plan to have transition teams in place at schools that are closing to aid students and staff with the changes. Changes will likely include staggered start times and class times for middle school students who will share campuses with high school students in the fall semester.

Parents and school board members have voiced their criticisms about the plan.

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