WJHL.com - Carter County school recommended for closure

Carter County school recommended for closure

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Range Elementary School in the Watauga area of Carter County Range Elementary School in the Watauga area of Carter County
ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) -

A proposal from another area county talking about closing one of its schools to save money has parents upset.

This time, we're talking about Range Elementary School in the Watauga area of Carter County.

Parent Paula Smith has two kids in school at Range, and she said the school is a part of her heritage.

"It is going to be heartbreaking if this school ends up having to close down...it's not just a school, it's a family," said Smith.

Director of Schools Kevin Ward recommended to the Board of Education on Wednesday that the school be closed next year and Range students be moved to Central Elementary School.

According to Ward, the possible closure would save the school system up to $350,000.

Ward said declining enrollment in the school system has left him searching for ways to balance the budget, and this is the best option he could come up with from a budget perspective.

"We have a school that sits in between two other schools, it's very closely located to where we can make this recommendation," said Ward.

Ward said if Range closes, its employees will get top priority for taking over positions that are vacated within other parts of the school system.

Ward estimates at least three or four teaching positions would move over to Central.

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