In April 2021, the Lawrence school board voted to close Kennedy Elementary School to grades K-5 and use it as an early childhood development center.
In January 2022, Lawrence school district staff proposed scenarios that would involve closures and/or consolidations of multiple elementary schools and middle schools. On Feb. 14, 2022, the school board decided to take closures off the table for the coming school year, but said difficult budget conversations would continue.
In February 2023, the superintendent recommended closing three middle schools and repurposing an elementary school. Our latest coverage of school closure issues will appear on this page.
Lawrence school board votes to close Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools
The Lawrence school board has voted to close Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools.
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Lawrence community members rally in support of schools at board meeting
Lawrence community members rallied at school district offices Monday in support of their neighborhood schools, and the board got to hear from some very young public commenters.
Signs of support for Lawrence schools pop up around town
A tight timeline for the Lawrence school board to make decisions about whether to close schools seems to have lit a fire under many community members who are coming together to “#SaveOurSchools497.”
Closure proposals missing from Lawrence school board agenda; board will consider nixing some classes and more
Nothing on the Lawrence school board’s Monday agenda indicated whether members will discuss proposals to close several district schools. But the board will consider deleting some high school classes, approving a calendar with a weeklong fall break and Juneteenth as a holiday in 2023, and more.
Closing 5 Lawrence schools would save about $3.25 million; timeline for decisions is tightening
A proposal to close four Lawrence elementary schools and a middle school could save the district about $3.25 million, and the school board will have to decide by the end of the month whether to keep that option on the table.
Lawrence school district’s budget and boundary advisory committees to meet Wednesday, hear details on Hillcrest proposal
The Lawrence school district’s Boundary Advisory Committee and its Budget and Program Evaluation Committee will both meet Wednesday, and the BAC will hear details about a proposal to close Hillcrest Elementary.
Lawrence parents, students begin campaign against school closures with sidewalk messages of support
Parents, students, and neighbors on Monday covered sidewalks with chalk messages of hope at Lawrence schools that could face closures.
Lawrence Public Schools considering closing several schools in proposed scenarios
Multiple school closings were proposed to the Lawrence school district’s Boundary Advisory Committee Wednesday in an attempt to lessen an impending budget crisis.
Lawrence school board vets ideas to fill multimillion-dollar budget gap
Many questions and few answers came out of the Lawrence school board’s review of potential cost-savings ideas Monday during a special meeting to discuss the district’s budget deficit.
Lawrence school board to hold special meeting to discuss budget-cut proposals
Inside 300 pages of cost-trimming ideas for the Lawrence school board’s consideration are proposals to combine low-enrollment classes at high schools, restructure middle schools and more.
Lawrence school district explains Montessori idea for New York Elementary; budget committee to hold meeting today
There is no current proposal or recommendation to close New York Elementary School, according to Lawrence Public Schools spokesperson Julie Boyle.
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Melody Alexander: School closures are not an equitable answer (Column)
”Equity resides in the community we’ve built for these children. And that equity was a priority because of these schools’ walls, where they feel the safety and security they deserve,” Melody Alexander writes in this column.
Letter to the Times: Closing Broken Arrow would compound systemic issues
”(The Lawrence school board’s) vote to hold a hearing on closing Broken Arrow Elementary School is a great disappointment and a clear testament that the winds of prejudice are still blowing across the land,” a group of community members write in this letter to the Times.
Save Our Schools 497: Lawrence school district should move forward with a comprehensive plan (Column)
“Prior to any further discussion about school closures, we call on the school board to create a procedure for best practices when considering school closures and to adopt this procedure moving forward,” Save Our Schools 497 writes in this column.
• Contact Lawrence school board members
• Facebook group: Save Lawrence Neighborhood Schools
• Facebook page: Lawrence Education Justice Collective
• Website: Save Our Schools
• Lawrence Public Schools Boundary Advisory Committee page (BAC)
• Lawrence Public Schools Budget and Program Evaluation Committee page (BPEC)
• Facebook group: Save Woodlawn Elementary!
• Website: Save Our School – Woodlawn Elementary