Coordinators with the Rainbow Push Coalition say they're expecting a pretty big crowd at the Glenwood Community Center Thursday night. Gregory Dossie, head of the coalition, says the purpose of this meeting is not to vent or complain about the proposed school closings, but to brainstorm budget cutting ideas.
Next year Rosenwald Middle students will likely be attending another school. If school board members approve the current plan, Rosenwald Middle School will become a high school serving A.D. Harris students. A.D. Harris would close.
But Dossie says it doesn't make sense to move Rosenwald students out of their "A" ranked school, and send some of them to Everitt Middle, which is a "C" school.
"You do this in corporate America, you're not going to last very long. You're not making sound decisions. It's not going to be a very good economic decision in the long run," said Dossie.
Dossie says he'd like to find a way for Bay County to keep all of it's schools open. But with an $11 to $16 million budget shortfall looming, that might not be possible.
With about a month left until the final vote, he says he hopes school board members are still considering options.
"They've already declined to go with the proposal that saved an additional 500,000 dollars so that could look like they already have their minds made up, but we hope not. They said the final decision won't be made until February 18th," said Dossie.
Dossie says the first half hour of Thursday's meeting will be time for public comment. Then everyone will break up into smaller groups and begin brainstorming ideas.
None of the school closings will be set in stone until February 18th, when the school board takes their final vote.