Meeting held to discuss possible district restructuring

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A plan to restructure the Batesville School District has many families concerned about where their children may attend school in the future.

The biggest concern comes with re-purposing Central Magnet Math and Science Elementary School.

A meeting on Thursday resulted in an emotional back and forth between parents and Superintendent Michael Hester.

Hester said the plan came about as a way to save the district money.

To save that money, the district would shut down the Cushman Alternative School and the Pre-K building, saving the district $200,000.

Many at the meeting were upset with the possible closure of Central Elementary School and moving the students from there to the three other elementary schools in the district.

Central Elementary School Principal Byrone Difani said he understands why that option may hurt because the school is tight-knit, but also understands the superintendent kick-starting a long-term goal of saving money for the district.

"He is trying to find what is best for the Batesville School District," Difani said. "He is trying to find out the different options that will work for the school. Change is always hard. It really is for anything. So I don't know, it is going to be hard to decide what the emotions will be after this."

Hester also said the money saved could result in better pay for school staff which could result in higher retention of teachers.

Hester stressed none of the restructuring plans have been finalized. The district will hold another meeting in December where Hester plans to present families with two restructuring options.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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