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All Four Olean Elementary Schools To Close

3:42 PM, Feb 18, 2012   |    comments
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OLEAN, NY - The reality of state budget cuts is hitting hard in Olean as the school board voted 7-2 on Thursday to close all four elementary schools over the next few years.

Parents and faculty are wondering what this drastic decision will mean for the future of education in the Olean School District.

2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing went there Friday to find out the reasoning behind this major decision that will affect hundreds of students and their families, not to mention faculty and staff. She spoke with Olean Schools Superintendent Colleen Taggerty.

EWING: And this decision was based on economics?

TAGGERTY: Economics, population decrease, and our feasibility to be solvent over the next five years.

The school district is facing a $3.4 million deficit, as well as reduced state aid.

At the end of this school year, Boardmanville and I-J-N Elementary schools will close. In about three years, all of the elementary school buildings will close and the students will be housed in the Middle School.

"It's very emotional, it's who we are, our legacies are attached to schools," Taggerty said.

BOCES Donald Ogilve, also a state education representative, told Claudine "it has been happening already in an unnoticed way" throughout Western New York. Lackawanna, the City of Tonawanda, and Cheektowaga are districts that either have closed elementary schools, or are planning to.

Watch Claudine's story on the video player above to hear more from other board members and parents who are concerned about their childrens futures.  

Watch Claudine's story on the video player above to hear more from other board members and parents who are concerned about their childrens futures.  

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