The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 5, 2013

Concerns raised about Birmingham school closings



BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Parents and teachers are expressing concerns about plans to close seven schools and lay off 133 workers in Birmingham City Schools.

At a Monday night meeting, community members said they feared the consequences of one aspect of the plan: Consolidating some seventh- and eighth-grade students with high school students.

Stephannie Huey says she's taught at the middle school and high school level, and doesn't think the two groups will mix well. She said middle school students would be exposed to more sexual activity, drugs and cigarettes.

Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said the consolidated schools with different grade levels would have separate entrances, staff and bus schedules.

WBRC-TV reports (http://bit.ly/YpMbJK) that the plan is expected to save the system $8 million and bring its budget in line with state law.

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