Providence School Board Votes to Close 5 Schools

Despite the protests of sometimes raucous parents, the Providence School Board has voted to close five city schools.

About 400 parents, teachers and students showed up at Thursday's meeting to argue against the closures, at times jeering and chanting “Shame!” during the vote.

But Board President Kathleen Crain says the city's precarious financial situation gave the panel no choice.

Providence faces a $110 million deficit in the upcoming fiscal year and Mayor Angel Taveras  says the closures are expected to save $7 million to 10 million.

The schools to close are Asa Messer Elementary, Messer Annex, Windmill Elementary, Flynn Elementary and West Broadway Elementary. Bridgham Middle School will become an elementary school.

About 1,800 students are affected.

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