Graves County Schools’ Board of Education voted 4-1 in favor of Superintendent Matthew Madding’s recommendation to close Lowes Elementary School permanently by June 30, 2021, the end of the fiscal year.
Emotions ran high and discussions grew heated as board members and Lowes’ parents debated on what each side felt was best for the students. In the minutes leading up to the vote, Lowes' students came down from the bleachers, sat in front of the lectern and faced the board as they spoke.
Scattered calls for board member(s) to resign could also be heard from the bleachers as the meeting progressed.
Madding made a planned presentation, which he said he’d sent out to board members a week prior, explaining why he felt the best course of action was to close the longtime ailing facility. He has previously stated that his opinion on why it should close have remained unchanged since early December.
Some of his points included a declining enrollment, a lack of funds, and the unlikelihood that the Kentucky Department of Education would approve of any projects to fix the school.
Board Chairperson Kelly Thurman, along with board members Ronnie Holmes, Julie Moffitt and Joni Goodman voted in favor of Madding’s recommendation. Board member Kenneth House was the only dissenting vote.