The State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of closing Dunbar-Pulaski Academic & Career Academy in Gary.
Dunbar-Pulaski, the only middle school in the Gary Community School Corporation, continuously received failing grades from the state over the last six years, forcing the board to take action now.
Board member and Gary resident Tony Walker proposed the motion to close the school. He says it is not financially responsible for the district to keep the school open, especially with a potential loss of state funding after the current legislative session.
Gary Schools Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt testified to the board on the district’s efforts and future plans to improve the school to keep it open. The district recently spent more than $500,000 to improve physical needs of the building, and some board members say this is what’s wrong with keeping the school open: more money will go into keeping the old building safe rather than benefitting a student’s academic career.
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz voted against the measure, along with fellow board members Cari Whicker and Sarah O’Brien, who both said they wanted to see a clear plan of what will happen to the students in the school before voting on whether to close it.
The school will likely close at the end of this academic year, displacing 650 students.