School in Jacksonville on chopping block due to lack of resources

Local school closing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local school in Jacksonville is on the chopping block after the district announced it is facing challenges with serving students and teachers.

Parents in the Brentwood area said they are not happy about the possibility of a neighborhood school closing.

The future is uncertain for about 300 students who attend Brentwood Elementary School on Jacksonville's west side.

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A letter sent home to parents Thursday said the school will be closing its doors at the end of this school year.

"This school has been here for a long time. I didn't think it would come to this," said parent Tameka Neal.

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Neal said she the letter when she picked her daughter up from school Thursday.

"It's just a big inconvenience to people," Neal said.

Students from Brentwood will merge with students at North Shore Elementary School.

In the letter Superintendent Diana Green said the district can't afford to provide the resources students and teachers need to be successful.

Sharon Coon is a community activist.

"I don't like this," Coon said.

Coon said her children attended Brentwood Elementary many years ago.

"If we can't provide resources for the schools for our children, your agenda is out of order," said Coon.

Coon also said closing the school would do more harm to students than good.

"Vacant building brings on crime," said Coon.

Action News Jax first told you this summer when the Florida Department of Education released its list of the lowest-performing schools in the state.

Eleven percent of them were schools in Duval County

Brentwood Elementary was at the top of that list.

The school Brentwood students will move to next year is only about a mile and a half, but it will be big change for parents, Neal said.

"You have a lot of parents in the area that don't have vehicles and not everyone wants to put their child on a bus," said Neal.

"What this tells me is that anytime a superintendent has to make this move, it shows the city of Jacksonville has failed to give her the support that she needs," Coon explained.

A public meeting about the issue will be held at Northshore Elementary school on Dec. 19 at 5 p. m.

The superintendent said that, at the meeting, she and her staff will answer any questions parents may have about the merger.

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