Thompkins Early Childhood Center Update

UPDATE: This story was updated at 8:42 p.m. on Thursday.

Parents asked tough questions at a public meeting in Ozark on Thursday evening after the Alabama State Board of Education came in front of the school board to say they are proposing to close the All-Kindergarten School next year.

The closures come from dropping enrollment and you guessed it, state budget cuts.

They are questioning how practical it is to keep the school open in light of the costs of operation. Enrollment has dropped 99 percent in 2011 to 78 percent this year. The school has cut staff from 18 to 14 in the last three years because the state is only able to pay for a certain number of employees at each school.

If the Thompkins Center does close, the kindergarten students will go to Lisenby and Mixon. It is a merger teachers say the kids may not be prepared for.

“We feel as though if we were kind of immersed in another environment, we have a great thing going and that may be lost,” said Kristen Green.

The one thing that board members, teachers and parents all agree on is that the final decision has to be about what is best for the children.

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The Alabama State Department of Education recommends to the Ozark Board of Education to close the Thompkins Early Childhood Center in Ozark. They blame budget cuts and declining enrollment.

Tune in at 9 for a full report.


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