Beecher parents worry school consolidation plan will result in larger classes

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MOUNT MORRIS, Michigan (WJRT) - (05/24/17)- An emotional night in Beecher -- as parents ask questions about plans to create a single campus for the district.

The biggest concern - by far that we heard voiced Wednesday night was the fear that going from three buildings to two would result in larger class size.

"Too many kids, in too small of a building , it's too much," said Shayna Terry, a parents whose children attend Dailey Elementary. She worries about the impact of consolidating all elementary students into one building.

"Somebody is going to get left out," she noted, "They cannot teach that many kids."

Beecher is creating a single campus by creating a pre-K through 7th grade building inside Dailey Elementary. Tucker Middle School--which is a 5th through 8th grade building-- will be re-purposed.

Beecher High School --which sits close to Dailey --will be home to students in the 8th through 12th grade.

The District says average class sizes will not increase and four to five teachers will be layed off.

"We're going to stay under the contractual guidelines of 33 students we cannot go over 33 students in a classroom," noted Superintendent Joshua Talison.

Beecher parent Danny Bradley says he's not ready to give up on the District just yet:

"We're going to stick it out but I strive for excellence for my son, we gonna get him additional help, whatever it takes to get there."

"Everybody know when to get off the boat--when the hole gets too big we going to the life or life preserver," he continued.

"When you have something like this teachers should be here, no ifs, ands , or or butts be here," remarked retired coach and teacher Moses Lacy to loud applause. Lacy is frustrated so few teachers showed up for the town hall meeting. Those who did voiced concerns about space constraints:

"We used to have the 7th grade here, what is the reason for not putting them back here," asked teacher Jane Bailey.

"The last time we did we lost students and we're not trying to lose students," replied Board President Reginald Mays.

Neither athletic programs nor extra curricular activities will be impacted by the consolidation plan.

The School district is grappling with a 1.5 million dollar deficit amidst declining enrollment.

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