Brevard school leaders approve $30M cut, school closures

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On Tuesday evening the Brevard County School Board approved $30 million in cuts, and confirmed that it will close three schools.

Among the changes, the cuts in funding will mean eliminating positions and services, cutting bus driver hours and charging athletes fees to play their sports.

District leaders said that the plan could change if they receive additional funding from the state.

School Board leaders met Tuesday to decide whether they would move forward with a plan to close three schools in Brevard County.

When the meeting was done, they had decided to approve $30 million in cuts and close the schools.

The meeting came after a lawsuit was filed last week to try to halt the decision.

Without more money coming in, board members said they had to move forward with the cuts. They said nothing is safe from elimination.

Rebecca Holland lives just feet from her daughter's school, at least for now.

"We don't have transportation," said Holland. "We're riding bikes or walking, so her being transferred to (another school) would be an issue."

Holland's daughter, Erica, attends Gardendale Elementary, which, along with Southlake Elementary and Clearlake Middle, has been identified by district leaders as targets for closure after the school year.

The plan has united teachers, parents and community leaders in opposition, but with the failure of a half-cent tax proposal in November at the hands of county voters, the district simply doesn't have the money to keep them open.

Meanwhile, Holland is hoping something can be done to keep her daughter and hundreds of other kids close to home.

So much of the focus has been on the schools closing, but that is just about 10 percent of the savings the district is looking at. The rest is being made up through the elimination and consolidation of positions and services.

School Board members said the cuts could change if they receive additional funding from the state.