Published Online: March 4, 2010

Meeting on Kansas City School Closings Draws Large Crowd

A standing-room-only crowd packed the first meeting of the Kansas City School Board since the superintendent released a plan to close nearly half the schools.

Children and angry parents were among those at Wednesday night's meeting.

Superintendent John Covington released a plan Monday to close 26 of the 60 schools in the district. Three early-childhood programs housed in leased buildings also would close.

Officials say the closings are needed to keep the district from plowing through what little is left of its dwindling reserve fund.

Covington has faulted previous district leaders for failing to act as enrollment shrank from about 35,000 a decade ago to slightly fewer than 18,000 now.

The school board was discussing the plan Wednesday night and expects to vote on it March 10.

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