Barack H. Obama Elementary School to Close This Summer

Mar 18, 2011, 13:20

Barack H. Obama Elementary School will be forced to close its doors this summer. The school located in Asbury Park, New Jersey was renamed just one year ago in honor of the President.

From The Asbury Park Press:

"The century-old Bangs Avenue School -- renamed for President Barack Obama just a year ago -- will be closed as a neighborhood school this summer, largely because of a steep slide in the district's total enrollment the past decade."

Bruce N. Rodman, the state-appointed monitor who oversees the district's finances, Thursday ordered that elementary students be reassigned to the city's two other elementary schools as of July 1.

According to a plan presented at a community meeting Monday night, all kindergarten-through-fourth-grade students living west of Comstock Street would go to Bradley Elementary School at 1100 Third Ave.

Those east of Comstock would attend Thurgood Marshall Elementary at 600 Monroe Ave.

Fifth-graders would be moved to the middle school.

The Obama school closing is expected to result in 470 students enrolled at Bradley and 540 at Thurgood Marshall.

The fiscal monitor had indicated some action was imminent after Superintendent of Schools Denise Lowe failed to get backing from the Board of Education Wednesday night.

Lowe had sought an alternative plan to create two pre-kindergarten-to-third-grade learning centers at two elementary schools and send all fourth- and fifth-graders to the third school, thereby keeping all three schools open.

"Look, a decision had to be made to either support the superintendent's grade reconfiguration or close down one of the buildings as a fulltime educational facility," said board member Garrett Giberson, who released information about the school closing that came to him from the state monitor.

"It's unfortunate the Board of Education couldn't come together where jobs could be saved."

"The fiscal monitor gave the board every opportunity to make a decision," Giberson added. "Last night (Wednesday) the Board of Education forced the state monitor's hand."