PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - Pasco County school board members voted Tuesday to keep Lacoochee Elementary School open.
The superintendent recommended closing the school because of declining enrollment and achievement struggles.
Tuesday night’s board meeting lasted more than four hours and parents got emotional as they stressed their concerns to board members. In the end, the board voted 3-2 to not close the school and parents got exactly what they wanted.
"Elated for one, I am overjoyed, I definitely know this was the right decision for our children. a very famous quote comes to mind and a wise man once said that the opposite of poverty is not wealth but the opposite of poverty is justice and I definitely believe that justice was served tonight because keeping Lacoochee Elementary school was the right thing for our students," said parent Ebony Pickett.
Superintendent Kurt Browning’s plan was to move the 300 students and staff members to Cox Elementary School which is about seven miles away.
Parents told board members through their tears that many of them don't have cars and the thought of walking their children to school would be too much.
"Like I said, it is all the way over here on the district we have churches that lend their church buses to bring us over here because the majority of us in Lachoochee do not have transportation, so that would have been an issue for us getting to our children," said Pickett.
Parents and students were happy with the outcome.
"Oh for our community we definitely have a strong sense of pride. Economically we may not be the richest people in the world but our pride can outweigh anything that money ever brings and I think you saw that tonight,” said Pickett.
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