The Rondout Valley School Board votes to close an elementary school at the end of the year. Our Beth Croughan has more on why and where.
ROSENDALE, N.Y. -- There were no students Wednesday at the Rosendale Elementary School. School's out for the rest of the week. But come June, this school will close and will stay closed.
"My son will be going into fourth grade, where? Who knows?" asked Rosendale Elementary School parent Eve Waltermaurer.
The Rondout Valley School Board voted to shut down one of the district's three elementary schools. The vote keeps Marbletown and Kerhonkson open.
"No one likes to lose a community school. This has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life in education," explained Rondout Valley Schools Superintendent Rosario Agostaro.
School officials said enrollment is down and the buildings are operating under-capacity. They said shutting Rosendale's doors will help shrink a nearly $4 million budget gap. It'll save an estimated $800,000 in operation costs and staffing.
"The budget committee, we have a board subcommittee that's really looking at every budget line, every area to see where we can find savings. Could there potentially be some layoffs, unfortunately, there may well be," said the Superintendent.
Agostaro state aid, the property tax cap and pension and health care costs are forcing tough decisions.
"Closing a school actually saves money just in the short term. It is not a long term fiscal solution. It's saddening, what devastation and destruction this kind of decision is going to make," said Waltermaurer of the decision.
Waltermaurer said she chose this community for the community school. Now that it's closing, a committee will pick where to put the kids, including her third grade son.
Waltermaurer thinks they should have done that before they made their choice.
Officials say class sizes and programs will be preserved.