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No realignment for Lakeland elementaries
Tuesday Mar 14, 2017 6:46am
LaGrange, IN

By: Tim Murray

LAGRANGE – Lakeland School Corporation's elementary grade schools won't face a realignment by grade level.

Superintendent Eva Merkel read a prepared statement at last night's school board meeting recommending against realignment. The board did not vote on the question because no change was recommended.

The decision brought applause from the large crowd at Parkside Elementary School.

"We know we can move forward with best teaching within our current framework. And, it has become very obvious that the school communities developed around our elementaries are more important to our success at this point than the benefits restructuring might bring. Remaining the same may bring some challenges depending upon enrollment fluctuations. We will address those as needed," Merkel said.

Merkel's recommendation followed an online survey in late January and early February. She said of the 523 responses, just 26% were open to realignment. 50% would support a referendum on raising funds to keep the three schools as they are now.

Following the superintendent's statement, school board president Bob Bond countered claims that Lakeland was losing students due to the New Tech curriculum at the high school.

"We have a housing crisis in Lagrange. We have lost families. We have lost employees because they can't find a place to live. We haven't had any new housing built, especially in the Lakeland school district, in quite some time."

He called New Tech the "fall guy" and urged the community to build up the schools, not tear them down on social media.

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