Lynchburg City Council votes to keep two elementary schools open for the upcoming school year

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg City Council voted 5 to 2 to keep Sandusky and T.C. Miller Elementary Schools open in the upcoming school year.

While the resolution does not appropriate funds, it safeguards a portion of funds already allocated to a contingency for the city.

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According to city leaders, “the vote was regarding a resolution that protects the funds which would be allocated to the Lynchburg City School District (at the appropriate time) by placing them into a ‘lockbox’ specifically for Sandusky and T.C. Miller.”

This comes after months of discussion on whether to close the two schools in an effort to save money and address declining enrollment and aging school buildings. Back in September 2023, the Lynchburg School Board adopted a consultant firm’s plan in a 5 to 4 vote, opting to permanently shut the doors of both Sandusky Elementary School and possibly T.C. Miller Elementary. This move was made under the guidance of the Facilities Master Plan, which was created after a 2022 report showed that the number of public schools in the Hill City was starting to outpace the enrollment rate.

[READ MORE: Lynchburg parents receive sign of hope schools may remain open for one more year]

However, the vote was met with ample pushback from some, with parents and city leaders voicing their opposition.

Just last month, the Lynchburg City Council asked Lynchburg City Manager Wynter Benda to help keep the elementary schools open for one more year. Several teachers, students and parents were in agreement with this, making Tuesday’s decision a relief to many.

Vice Mayor Chris Faraldi said the vote was a win for the Hill City.

Since October of 2023, parents have been calling for a solution that would protect Sandusky and T.C. Miller Elementary Schools. Now, council delivered just that.

I could not be more thrilled and humbled to represent these constituents and honor their requests. I thank them for their advocacy, partnership, and support through these last few months. This victory is theirs to celebrate.

I am pleased by the fact that a majority of Republicans — along with two other members of council — rose to the occasion, got behind our plan, and supported the parents, students, and staff of our schools.

We have demonstrated that when it matters most to our constituents, real results — rather than rhetoric — prevails.

This was a WIN for Lynchburg!

Vice Mayor Chris Faraldi

About the Author

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

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