Sunderland Voters Defeat School Closing Petition

03/08/06 12:00AM By Susan Keese



(Host) The town of Sunderland will keep its elementary school open, for the time being at least. Voters defeated a petition Tuesday to close the school and tuition children to surrounding towns.

This is the second such attempt the school has survived since last June. The vote was closer this time than last.

The school has only sixty children and enrollment is shrinking. Proponents of closing it say local children would have more opportunities in a larger school, and that the town would get more for its education dollars.

Incumbent Eric Marchese was one of two school board candidates who defeated challengers who favored closing the facility.

(Marchese) "I have two children in the school and I feel they're getting a quality education I don't feel they're missing out on anything. So I think it's a great place for them to be. We're a pretty small town, but we don't really have a town center, and the only thing that really connects people is the school."

(Host) Marchese says families wouldn't have as much say in educational issues if their children went to school in other towns.

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