Muskogee School Board approves closing 7th and 8th grade at Benjamin Franklin Science Academy

Posted at 4:47 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 19:28:16-04

MUSKOGEE -- Daniel Hardin said his son has been a student at Benjamin Franklin Science Academy since he was in Kindergarten. But now that he’s going into the 7th grade next year, his son is having to move to a different school.

“They’re set adrift. They’re in a totally new situation that we didn’t sign up for,” said Hardin.

Monday night, the school board voted to close 7th and 8th grades at the magnet school. They said now roughly 90 students are moving to Alice Robertson Middle School in the fall, bumping up enrollment by roughly 13 percent. Hardin said the increased class sizes would take away his son’s close knit bond with his teachers.

“He’s been there since Kindergarten so he’s familiar with teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers. It just feels like family,” said Hardin.

School officials said the closing will help with the district $1 million dollars in budget cuts. But Hardin said he wishes there was another way to save money, instead of moving his son to a different school.

“I hope they will in the future decide to seek other ways instead of tearing a school in half,” said Hardin.

Officials said an administrative position will also be cut from  Ben Franklin. They said some teachers will stay at the magnet school and a couple teachers possibly move to Alice Robertson.

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