East Providence parents brace for possible school closure - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

East Providence parents brace for possible school closure

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By Abbey Niezgoda


The days at Oldham Elementary could be numbered. Students and parents spent Wednesday night making their case to save the school that the district has said they flat out do not have the money to fix and would like to close altogether.

The district discovered Oldham Elementary needs more than 2 million dollars in repairs, from a leaky roof to fire code updates. They say they cannot afford to pay for any of it so they want to close the doors.

They are required by law to have a public hearing on the issue, but the Superintendent says he does not see any alternative to closing it. 

"It is one of the oldest schools," Dr. John DeGoes said. "It's also one of the smallest and we can move the entire student population to another school."

The district just climbed out of a $7 million hole, and they do not want to go into anymore debt, especially on a school that only 170 students attend.

Tara Wallace, who has three children that go to Oldham, says she hopes they take them into account when making the decision.

"It's really easy to say oh close this when you don't know the faces or anything, so maybe they'll see that and realize this is a good thing," Wallace said.

Ultimately the state-appointed budget commission will be making the decision by March 1st. They are in charge of East Providence's troubled finances. If the school does close, the students will go to Waddignton Elementary, roughly 2 miles away from Oldham.

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