Cooke Closing Its Doors In Galesburg - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Cooke Closing Its Doors In Galesburg

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A line of cars ready to pick up their kids. 

This isn't something new outside Cooke Elementary in Galesburg, but it is something that will be going away. 

Monday, the Galesburg School Board voted to close Cooke, citing that it wasn't financially able to do so. 

"It's been a long standing issue," says Superintendent Bart Arthur. "They only have on average 15 kids in each class. So it just go to the point where we couldn't afford to keep it open."

As it stands, the district is $4,400,000 in the red. 

Arthur says this isn't uncommon for many Illinois school districts, who aren't getting what they are owed from the state government. 

"Every year it's getting less and less," he explains. "We're supposed to be getting $6,119/ pupil. Last year, they prorated us to 85% and you just can't keep operating. For us, that's about $2,000,000."

Closing Cooke could help close that gap, saving the district about $930,000/year. 

With most of that coming from staff reductions and operational costs. 

But still, despite the numbers, some parents are still upset. 

"They're going to have a whole bunch of kids now in one school and it's going to be cramped and the kids aren't going to have as much time with the teacher to learn," says Amanda Smith, parent of her kindergarten daughter. 

Another parent, Alina Askins, agrees.

"It's just too close to home and it's just more jobs lost in Galesburg. It's just not a good situation period."

According to Superintendent Arthur, the displaced students will be attending nearby Steele Elementary. 

The closing goes into affect after this current year is over. 

 

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