Livonia school board votes to close 2 schools, impacting special needs students

- The Livonia school board decided they will close two elementary schools by the beginning of next year.

A capacity crowd attended the school meeting Monday, with many upset at the cost saving measures.

"Do what's best for the kids or do you do what's the easiest thing?" said one parent, speaking during public comment.

"When is enough, enough?" asked another parent. "It feels like it's always the special needs programs that are moved first."

There were tense moments during the school board meeting after the trustees voted to close Cass and Garfield elementary schools. The board also voted to close the Western Wayne Skills Center for special education adults. It serves 200 students.

"You keep talking about how transitions take time," said one parent. "I'm telling you my kid does not have that time."

"This is not just numbers, this is not as what people have said," a parent said. "This is not just two buildings that you are thinking about closing. It's people, it's their lives, it's their kids."

About 140 were in attendance with concerns about the decision to relocate those students, some with special needs, to other schools. It is an effort the board says will help save money after declining enrollment throughout the district.

"I can convince myself that leaving buildings is the best thing for the long term health of our district," said trustee Dan Centers. "And therefore the education of our students."

Despite their claims of money woes, some wonder why money from a recent millage won't foot the cost.

"Yes we have the enhancement millage, but that would have been eaten up by what we would have had to pay, if that legislation had passed," said trustee Mark Johnson.

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