Residents of Dugger, Ind., made an appeal to the Indiana Charter School Board Tuesday to allow the schools in their tiny town remain open. From the Associated Press:
Tom Peeler, superintendent of the newly formed Dugger-Union Community School Corp., said enrollment in the first year for the K-12 charter school next fall is projected at 260 students. Intent-to-enroll forms have been submitted so far for about 140 students, he told the Tribune-Star.
Peeler said it’s important to the 900-person town that the schools remain open.
“This is a powerful community. It’s a vibrant community, and it deserves an opportunity to continue, and that’s what the school will do,” he said.
The Northeast Sullivan School Board voted 3-2 in November to close its two schools in Dugger: Dugger Elementary and Union Junior-Senior High School, which has 172 students. The district’s four other schools will remain open, including North Central Junior-Senior High School, which is near Farmersburg and has about 500 students.The rural district has lost about 150 students in the past five years, leading to a $1.8 million, or about 16 percent, decline in annual funding, according to district officials.
About 300 students are currently attending the two schools in Dugger. Supporters of keeping the two schools open warned district officials in November those students would likely transfer rather than attend North Central.
The Northeast Sullivan School Corporation told the Terre Haute Tribune Star it will follow state law and allow the new charter to lease the old school buildings for $1 if their application is approved.
A decision is expected May 1.