Indiana school board decides fate of local elementary school in financially strapped district

School board votes to keep Dearborn County elementary school open

DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. (FOX19) - A heated debate has been unfolding in Dearborn County over whether to close the doors of a local elementary school.

On one side are people like Lori Hanham, whose daughter is in third grade at Moores Hill Elementary, the school at the center of the debate.

Hanham says she spent months digging into the numbers in an effort to keep the school open.

“The education out there is phenomenal,” she told FOX19 Now. “That school cares about you. You get more of a one-on-one. Everybody in that school, all the teachers and the aids, they know all the students individually.”

On the other side are people like Steven Hamlett, who has three children at different schools in the district.

“We know that the school is in some financial distress,” Hamlett explained. “We are worried about the solvency of the entire district.”

The debate came to a pitch Tuesday when the Board of South Dearborn Community Schools discussed and voted on the issue.

The board voted 4-3 to keep the school open.

“I’m just so grateful that the board took into consideration all of the research we’ve done,” Hanham said, adding the process was “really emotional.”

Indeed, some of the parents hugged and clapped at the results. Others shook their heads in disbelief.

“I’m a little disappointed that we haven’t found a pathway forward yet,” Hamlett said. “My question is, what next? What can the parents of South Dearborn be waiting for?”

The parents—those on Hanham’s side and those on Hamlett’s—might disagree on the outcome, but they both say changes need to be made.

“The board that has voted to keep us open has seen there are discrepancies,” Misty Russell explained, “and those need to be allocated and corrected.”

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.