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Controversial vote consolidates Montford North Star into Asheville Middle School

School merger protest demonstration.

Controversial vote consolidates Montford North Star into Asheville Middle School

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (HERE NEWS) — By a vote of 5-2, the Asheville City Schools Board of Education has elected to consolidate Montford North Star into Asheville Middle School.

“This is a school that is one of the highest and one of the only achieving schools in our district,” Montford North Star Academy parent Jennifer Gladden said. “They’re closing it.”

Tears were shed, voices were raised, and frustration was felt following Monday night’s decision. “I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m not surprised,” Gladden said.

Community Reaction

A capacity crowd in support of Montford North Star left saddened by the vote to consolidate the school into Asheville Middle. The vote has many questioning if the decision will benefit the schools as a whole in the long run.

“They’ll see how unable, dishonest and how we can’t believe anything that’s happening,” Gladden said. “How do they know that if they send their kids to these schools, and the numbers keep dropping, that their school won’t close?”

Decisions and Debates

The future of the Montford building has not been made official. However, multiple conversations before Monday’s meeting would see the ACS Education Career Academy (ECA) moved into the old Montford space.

“I believe fully that what we are doing creates a more stable and strong district,” ACS Board of Education Chair George Sieburg said. “One that can pay teachers what they truly deserve and allocate resources that are best for all of our students. I hope that the parents can see that.”

Effect on Parents

But, that line of thinking was hard for the parents to see not long after the decision was made. “I don’t have the money to send my kids to private schools,” Gladden said. “But this is making it really, really hard to stand by Asheville City Schools.”

Implementation Timeline

The decision will take effect at the start of the 2024-25 school year.

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HERE Asheville
Author: HERE Asheville

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