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News items come from the U.S. Department of Educations's National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF).

P.S. 14 parents, community continue to protest plans to double size of school
-- Patrick Rocchio, Bronx Times

New York: May 27, 2016 -- P.S. 14’s expansion plan has come under fire. A coalition of community members and parents believe the enlargement of the Hollywood Avenue school is too big and are calling on the School Construction Authority to halt the project until they have their questions answered. The project has probably already been put out to bid, according to sources. The opposition voiced their displeasure at a Community Board 10 meeting at the school on Thursday, May 19, and a CB 10 Youth and Education Committee meeting on Monday, May 23. Traffic conditions at pick up and drop off time, proximity of the annex to a nearby house, the loss of parkland, were some of the concerns addressed. “Let’s stop and rethink this and get a consensus so that people feel that they are part of the process,” said WLCA board member Mary Jane Musano, who favors a smaller addition.

Central School parents demand a solution -- soon
-- MARGA LINCOLN, Independent Record

Montana: May 27, 2016 -- Central School parents and staff were back in front of the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees Tuesday night asking for a solution -- soon. It’s been three years since Central School faced an emergency evacuation order after an engineering report warned of serious structural damage in case of an earthquake. At that time, Central students were “temporarily relocated” from their downtown campus to Lincoln School, 1325 Poplar St. One option put on the table Tuesday -- moving Central students to Ray Bjork School -- was met by stiff opposition from the Early Childhood Special Ed Preschool program at Ray Bjork, which is also shared with Head Start. Both Central and Ray Bjork schools deal with the school district’s most vulnerable, at-risk students. Trustee Sarah Sullivan agreed to head up a task force of board trustees, parents and community members to immediately explore Central School options to bring back to the board. In opening the Central School discussion, board chairman Aidan Myhre said it’s time for the school district to reinvigorate its facilities discussion, which it put on hold after the school bond failed in June 2015. Parent council spokesperson Jennifer McKee said that Central parents “are asking the board for a new analysis of student placement.”

Small Town School Closing its Doors After 144 Years

Iowa: May 26, 2016 -- WALNUT, Iowa -- While metro schools make decisions to meet growing student populations, some schools in Iowa are facing a much harder decision. Just last week, the Waukee School District approved a land purchase for a second high school. But it’s the exact opposite for the town of Walnut, closing its schools’ doors after 144 years. The Iowa census estimates 776 people live in Walnut, 121 fewer people than what it says on the sign that greets you. It’s a statistic reflected in the lone school. “Too many times schools are academically bankrupt before they are financially bankrupt, and that's certainly the position Walnut was in,” said Superintendent Jesse Ulrich. The Walnut Community School District has seen a dramatic drop in enrollment over the past five years, with 171 students in 2010 and just 72 students in 2015. That’s why the school that has taught students since 1872 is closing its doors to merge with the neighboring AHST Community School District. “It's never going be the same. I just hope the town itself can survive without the school,” said Walnut resident Donna Harris-Heiny. The school's been the focal point for many years.

Judge rules against school closures
-- Mike Lamb, Desert Dispatch

California: May 26, 2016 -- SAN BERNARDINO — A Superior Court judge has ordered the Barstow Unified School District to vacate the project to close both Thomson Elementary School and Hinkley Elementary School. The ruling was delivered May 17 by Judge Gilbert Ochoa. It follows his February ruling that the district rescind its 2012 resolution to close Hinkley and Thomson elementary schools. The order came after California's Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed his earlier ruling in the Save Our Schools vs. Barstow Unified School District case. Thomson is now the site of the district's STEM Academy, while Hinkley remains closed. "The approvals of the school closures and student transfers as well as the CEQA determinations must be set aside and vacated within 90 days," attorney Abigail Smith said Thursday. She works for Johnson & Sedlack, which is representing the petitioner, Save Our Schools. "The District must prepare a new CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) determination if it intends to re-approve the project. There should be a new public hearing, although the District could technically proceed withhold holding one," Smith said. Superintendent Jeff Malan said Barstow Unified will comply with the terms of the writ as directed by the court. "Yesterday, the District received a signed copy of the writ of mandate issued by the San Bernardino County Superior Court in the Save Our Schools v. Barstow Unified School District case," Malan said Thursday.

Study says schools in Yonkers, N.Y., are 20 percent over capacity
-- Mike Kennedy, American School & University

New York: May 25, 2016 -- Student enrollment in the Yonkers (N.Y.) district is 20 percent over the capacity of the city's aging public school facilities, a study of district schools has concluded. The building capacity study finds that the district's December 2015 enrollment of 26,736 was 4,428 more than the functional capacity of the district's 39 schools—22,308. The findings from the building capacity study are the latest step in an effort by the Yonkers school district and its supporters to persuade the New York State Legislature to support a $2 billion, 13-year plan to rebuild all 39 public schools in the city of Yonkers. The average age of the schools is 75 years old, and many of the campuses have deteriorating conditions. “So many Yonkers schools are over 100 years old,” Superintendent Edwin M. Quezada says. “They are crumbling around our students and staff. Patchwork repairs are no longer acceptable.”