|Activists hold "Save Our Roosevelt Elementary School" signs in 2012. Brevard Times / file photo.|
VIERA, Florida -- During a meeting on Tuesday night, the Brevard County School Board announced a grouping of elementary schools that could close if the half-cent sales tax increase does not pass in November.
All of the schools listed for potential closure are on Brevard County's barrier islands where the populations have grown older and the location of two choice schools on Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach have put pressure on declining student enrollment in surrounding neighborhood schools.
Similar school closure proposals were made in 2012 just before the November election when a half-penny sales tax was on the ballot. Brevard County voters rejected that tax increase and three schools were closed in 2013. One of the closed schools, Gardendale Elementary, was on Merritt Island and those students were transferred to nearby schools. Sea Park Elementary in Satellite Beach was also on the short list for closure in 2012. See what the proposed school boundary changes were in 2012 if Sea Park had closed (.pdf file).
The president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers Union, Richard Smith, spoke during the meeting and said that the solution to not closing schools is to pass the half-penny sales tax. "Stop with this nonsense that we are somehow over taxed," said Smith.
The schools listed for potential closure and/or affected by a closure before the 2014-2015 school year are:
Cape View Elementary
Lews Carroll Elementary
Indian Harbour Beach
Ocean Breeze Elementary
Sea Park Elementary