The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Dan Fox 

School board discusses closing Lodgepole Middle School


Dan Fox / Sun-Telegraph

The School Board opened the floor to audience comments and concerns at the Jan. 3 work shop.

On Tuesday, Jan. 3 the Creek Valley School Board held an open work session to discuss the numbers, and talk about potentially closing the school in Lodgepole as a cost-saving measure. Board President Jason Phillips said a focus of the Tuesday meeting was to share the financial data and facts that had led the board to this juncture.

As they ran through a number of Power Point slides, board members painted the picture of declining state and federal aid, as well as increasing costs.

According to the board's information, costs per pupil have increased $10,000 since the 2004-2005 school year. Staff costs have increased 15 percent. State aid has suffered a sharp decrease of 99 percent, Phillips said, dropping from $463,464 in 2004-2005 to a projected $76 in the 2016-2017 school year. Enrollment is also down, with the total number of students in the district dropping from 300 in 2004-2005 to 225 at present day.

Howard said the board would resume the discussion at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

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