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Kansas City Public Schools looks into closing schools to increase opportunity in classrooms

KCPS Headquarters
Posted at 2:08 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 15:12:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Public Schools is looking into closing and consolidating schools to allow for increased educational opportunities as part of Blueprint 2030, the district's plan for 2025 and 2030.

The district's plan aims to meet the goals of progressing student achievement, teaching, student support, the KCPS workforce, sustainability and more. As part of Blueprint 2030, three proposed scenarios are being reviewed, each involving closing or consolidating schools in the district.

The scenarios also look into how much investment is needed to sustain them, what academic opportunities and programs would be available and the number of potential cost savings.

The first scenario KCPS is reviewing involves the closure of around nine to 10 elementary schools and two to three high schools. The plan projects that $172.5 million would be needed in investments and the district would have a cost savings of $37.5 million.

This scenario projects expansion and improvements in:

  • Curricular resources and services,
  • Subjects including foreign language, instrumental music and science labs in elementary schools
  • Elective courses in middle and high schools
  • Project-oriented learning at all schools
  • Staffing models and support
  • Equitable experiences for students
  • Innovation and differentiation

The second scenario being discussed includes the closure of roughly six to eight elementary schools and two high schools. A projected $186.3 million in investments would be needed and cost savings is $32 million.

The district projects that scenario two would limit, reduce or eliminate the opportunity for expansion for subjects such as foreign language, instrumental music and science labs in elementary schools, and elective courses in middle and high schools. The district also says it would lower or remove the possibility for a more efficient staffing model and other opportunities for innovation.

KCPS is also reviewing a third scenario, which would remove about three to six elementary schools and one high school. This plan is expected to require $207 million in investments and $21.5 million in cost savings. The district says all of the expansions and improvements projected in scenario one would be reduced or eliminated in this scenario.

KCPS is gathering online feedback on what priorities matter most to the community. The district also says it will gather community feedback on these three scenarios through the summer and fall. KCPS says it will then revise and present updated proposals in September.