Lovejoy Elementary School Will Close Due to Budget Concerns

Displaced students will go to Hart and Puster elementary schools next year

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Students and teachers at Lovejoy Elementary School are preparing to say goodbye to their campus.

School board members told parents they had no choice but to close, due to budget concerns.

Parents weren't willing to accept that news so easily.

“We’ve been working on plans to keep these kids safe for a year, and now you’re going to take them and put them in two schools and pack them in like sardines? It raises a lot of concerns," parent Mary Dickinson said.

Lovejoy is a rather affluent area in Collin County. That's one of the things board members said was hurting the district. Home prices are rising so high that young families with young children aren't moving in. 

The district is also hurting from a change in funding model under Texas House Bill 3, which is reducing its income.

The Senate is also debating a change that would prohibit Lovejoy from charging tuition to students out of the district. It all means less money to operate.

"I hate it. I hate it for the people who bought in this neighborhood to walk to school," one of the school board members said. "It's devastating, but I can't see a way around it."

The move to close Lovejoy Elementary will send students to Hart and Puster elementary schools.

The school will close at the end of this year and district leaders said they expect to be able to rehire most teachers in other positions.

While Lovejoy appears to have little demand among students in kindergarten through fourth grades, Lovejoy ISD's secondary classes are full.

Parents are still asking for other ways for the district to save the elementary school.

The problems Lovejoy is facing will likely plague other districts as well, as COVID costs increased, there was less local revenue and funding models were revised.

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