Two Bismarck Elementary Schools Could Close

People in Bismarck rally to save local neighborhood schools.

Roosevelt and Highland Acres elementary schools are being threatened with closure.

The room was filled with more than 100 concerned parents and Bismarck residents.

Some spoke on the behalf of their kids.

“We understand how important it is for kids to get a good early core education that sets them up for success,” Jay Gotta, parent of Highland Acres student says.

While others spoke for their community

“Community schools are important to Bismarck,” Tim Purdon, Bismarck Alliance for Neighborhood Schools says.

Parents say when it comes to their kids’ education money shouldn’t be the bottom line.

But this gets tricky with schools like Highland Acres and Roosevelt with smaller numbers.

They cost more per student to operate.

But parents say the benefits of these small schools shouldn’t be overlooked.

“The one thing that concerns me is the level of comfort that my kids feel going to the schools that they go to,” Jason Horner, parent of a Roosevelt student says.

Comfort parents say would be gone if their school was shut down.

But the School Board is facing some tough choices.

The District as a whole does have the space but the school board says they don’t have it where they need it most.

A large amount of the growth is north of I-94 those schools are facing overcrowding.

By closing Roosevelt and Highland Acres, the district has more money to address that problem.

But community members say that’s bad for everyone.

“Good schools are the centerpiece of our community. They encourage young families, like I did 20 years ago, to move into the central core of Bismarck,” Purdon says.

And it will keep the community speaking out for their own neighborhood schools.

The school board did not decide whether to close the schools.

But they say all options will be considered.
 

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