A number of parents will speak out at Thursday night's school board meeting on a plan to merge two schools and build a new, larger, one.
The district has money from a Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to build two new elementary schools.
School board member David Banks has recommended consolidating two aging East Cobb schools.
"In reality, we can't afford the neighborhood schools anymore," said Banks. "We just don't have the funds to maintain those. We don't have the funds to maintain the schools we have right now from the general fund. There's just not enough money."
Banks wants to combine Eastvalley Elementary and Powers Ferry Elementary. It would be replaced with a new school that has space for at least 1,000 students.
Many parents said while Eastvalley and Powers Ferry are more than 50 years old, they like their smaller schools.
"You know, they're small kids," said parent Andrea Jewell. "They would like to know their teachers, be able to get around the building, know the students that they go to class with and I think it makes a big difference."
Parent Eric Stein has formed the Eastvalley Elementary Advocacy Alliance, a group opposed to the school closings.
"We're not in favor of it because we don't know anything about it," said Stein. "And when something's unknown you're not going to support it."
Stein said there have been nearly $4 million in renovations done at Eastvalley recently. He and his supporters said they would like to see the old schools get additional upgrades so they can stay open.
"The fact is if you don't speak early, speak loud and speak often, no one's going to hear you," said Stein.
Thursday's school board meeting is at 7 p.m. at district headquarters.
While parents will speak out, the board will not take up the school replacement issue until its November meeting.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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