Staring in the face of over $44 million in needed budget cuts - a number that could get worse - Akron schools superintendent David James proposed closing three of the district's elementary schools.

Students at Barrett, Essex and Rankin schools would be absorbed by nearby elementary school districts. Board president Jason Haas says the move would save the district about $910,000 a year to operate the three schools, not counting whatever reductions there would be in the teaching staff.

The closure proposal was prompted by low attendance numbers by those within the schools' attendance area.

The proposal at Monday night's school board meeting by Superintendent James is just that, a proposal and recommendation by James.

James and other school officials plan to meet with those affected by the planned closures over the next two weeks, and the Akron school board could vote as soon as the next meeting - February 27th - on James' recommendation.

With a projected $44 million deficit in the next two school fiscal years, these closures will likely not be the last, and a significant number of other cuts are also ahead.

Published in Local