Kent school closures proposed

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 3 at 12:29 AM

COVINGTON, Wash. -- The Kent School District is considering closing schools to narrow the budget gap.  But some parents aren't going down without a fight.

 
Jennifer Harjehausen stood up Thursday night in front of her local PTA meeting and broke the bad news that Cedar Valley elementary school is being targeted for closure.
 
"The big thing is school closures," said Jennifer.  "They're doing an analysis of Jenkins Creek and Cedar Valley and we've been warned as one under consideration."
 
That doesn't sit well for Jennifer, the mother of a second grader and a fourth grader at the school.
 
"I like everything here, and it should stay the same," said fourth grader, Jack Harjehausen.
 
Jennifer believes the school serves a purpose in her Covington neighborhood.
 
"That's why we bought a house here, it's right next to the school," said Jennifer.
 
But the state's fourth largest district spread out of 72 square miles says it is considering shuttering Cedar Valley and nearby Jenkins Creek elementary Because of their small size and dwindling state and federal funding.
 
"After five years we've picked all the low hanging fruit, and done all the rearranging we can," said Chris Loftis, Kent School District Spokesperson.
 
Jennifer has put together a website, and a Facebook page in a push to save the ethnically diverse school.
 
"We are a majority minorty school which means there are fewer white kids here than any other school is Covington and that is a great thing," said Jennifer.
 
She hopes it'll be enough to convince the district.  By the time it counts all the nickels and dimes there are other ways to save a few dollars.
 
The board could be looking to cut up to $10 million from next year's budget.
    
It will receive a closure analysis on February 22nd and then vote on whether to proceed.

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