GOLDEN, Colo. -- The Jefferson County School Board met in a marathon meeting Thursday night into Friday morning to discuss how to fill a $25 million dollar budget gap. On the table: Closing schools, cutting programs and staff, and/or increasing fees.
The board ultimately voted to close Pleasant View Elementary School in Golden, while deciding to keep the other four proposed schools open. Those are Peck, Pennington, Stober, and Swanson Elementary.
The board said it will also retain the district’s “gifted and talented” program for at least this year.
Pleasant View had been on a proposed closure list last year, and the board cited dropping enrollment as the reason. The vote to close the school was unanimous.
"If it doesn't happen now it's going to happen next year because things aren't going to get better. And so I believe that also in this instance the children where they land can be better served," one board member said.
While leaving the other four schools open is good news for parents, students, and staff of those schools, it also leaves the district in a tough financial spot. Even if they had closed all five schools, they would still be $20 million away from filling that budget gap.
A district spokesperson talked to Denver7 on Thursday about what might happen if the board went away from closing schools.
"If the schools don't close we still have financial challenges that somewhere else is gonna have to take a blow," Diana Wilson said. "We could keep these schools open and dock all schools 100 dollars per kid that they're now getting. It's a trade off. What would you rather live with?"
The final school budget is due in May.