Putnam City Parents Rally Together To Try, Save Local School

Monday, April 4th 2016, 7:32 pm
By: News 9

Several concerned parents and teachers spoke at the Putnam City School District board meeting on Monday night regarding the future of D.D. Kirkland Elementary.

"We don't want to destroy something that is working so well," said Candice Hillenbrand.

She is a mother of two D.D. Kirkland Elementary students.

"My concerns are that my daughter, who is getting ready to leave Kirkland in 5th grade, will be more prepared than my daughter who is entering Kirkland in kindergarten," Hillenbrand said.

On Thursday, parents learned about budget cuts that would turn Kirkland into an early childhood center for pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Kirkland's current 3rd through 5th graders would either go to Coronado or Rollingwood elementaries. Plans to close two early childhood centers would bring those students to Kirkland. The district said the plan would save $273,000.

Monday night, Parents asked the board to listen to another option. They want to raise that $273,000 to keep the school the way it is.

"That's not a lot of money it's completely doable and I know we have a really strong community that would come forward to make sure the structure stays in place as it is now," Hillenbrand said.

Putnam City Schools spokesman Steve Lindley said this is the first time parents have come up with a plan like this.

"The idea of it is a fantastic idea," said Lindley. "The idea of parents who love their school so much, love their teachers so much, that they are willing to go out and raise funds [...] That's a real testament to the school."

Hillenbrand and other parents are hoping board members will vote against the changes. A vote is expected on Monday night.