Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Brian Binggeli is recommending closing four schools to close a $32 million budget gap. The four schools include: Clearlake Middle School in Cocoa, Sea Park Elementary in Satellite Beach, South Lake Elementary in Titusville, and Gardendale Elementary in Merritt Island.
The district says it needs to take money out of its operational budget and transfer it to the capital budget to repair school roofs, air conditioners,busses, and buy new computers. The district says these proposed closures are a direct result of Brevard County voters rejecting a half-cent sales tax increase on Tuesday. Still, teachers and parents at the four schools were shocked when they learned their schools may be closing.
"We are going to fight with everything we have," said Karen Proctor, President of the Parent-Teacher's Organization at Gardendale Elementary. "It's sickening to our stomachs, because teachers spent their whole lives here doing everything they can to try and make this the best school it can be."
The school district says this is just the first phase of severe cuts they will have to make. If those schools are closed, it will save $3 million dollars a year, just a dent in the $32 million they say they need each year. The school closure proposal goes before the school board at its next meeting on November 20, but a decision isn't likely to be made until January.