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Learning Curve

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A legacy of closed schools for Daniels?

Keeping up with the list of proposed Indiana school closings has

almost become a full-time job. We compiled a list of more than 30 a

week ago. My updated list now shows 37 schools targeted for closing;

10 have been approved. That number will likely grow to 12 when the

Fort Wayne Community Schools board meets tonight and votes to close

Elmhurst High School and Pleasant Center Elementary.

By the time the full effect of Gov. Mitch Daniels's $300 million in

school budget cuts is realized, Indiana will likely have seen the

greatest rash of closings and consolidations in four decades.

The School Corporation Reorganization Act of 1959 set up 92 county

committees to create more efficient and uniform school districts. Over

the next decade, it reduced the number of districts from about 900 to

400, closing dozens of schools along the way. The last district

consolidation approved was in 1991, when Whitley County Community

Schools became the state's 293rd district.

Thanks to Ed Feigenbaum, who -- in addition to doing original

reporting -- rounds up newspaper reports from around the state for his

informative newsletter, Indiana Education Insight, here's my

compilation of Indiana districts where school closings are being

contemplated or have been approved:

Anderson Community Schools: Highland High School, Killbuck

Elementary

Baugo Community Schools: Jimtown North Elementary

Brownstown Central Community Schools : Freetown Elementary

(approved)

Center Grove Community School Corp.: West Grove Elementary. (approved)

Delaware Community Schools: DeSoto Elementary

Eastbrook Community Schools: Matthews and Washington elementary

schools

Elwood Community Schools: one elementary or middle school

Fort Wayne Community Schools: Elmhurst High School, Pleasant

Center Elementary

Franklin Township Community Schools: Wanamaker and Acton

elementary schools

Indianapolis Public Schools: Pacers Academy

Kokomo-Center Township Consolidated: two middle schools, Wallace,

Washington and Maple Crest elementary schools

Liberty-Perry Community Schools: Perry Elementary

Madison Consolidated Scools: Canaan Elementary (approved)

Monroe County Community School Corp.: Aurora Alternative School

Muncie Community Schools: Central or Southside High School or Wilson

or Northside Middle School

New Albany-Floyd County Schools: Silver Street Elementary, Pine

View Elementary, Galena Elementary and Children's Academy of New

Albany (approved)

Mount Vernon MSD: Hedges Central Elementary (approved)

New Castle Community Schools: Greenstreet Elementary

Richland-Bean Blossom School Corp: alternative school

South Bend Community Schools: Greene Intermediate Center,

Lafayette Traditional School

Tell City-Troy Township Schools: one junior high school

Tippecanoe School Corp.: Battle Ground Intermediate School

Warren Township Schools: Heather Hills and Morehead elementary

schools (approved)

Vincennes Community School Corp.: Washington Elementary

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at kfrancisco@jg.net.

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