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Ken-Ton explores school closings

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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The Kenmore-Tonawanda School District released four reorganization plans, all of which would close one or more school buildings.The Ken-Ton district is struggling with decades of declining enrollment, a shrinking tax base, declining state aid, shrinking reserves and too many buildings.

After years of study, four possible responses to the situation are now before the school board and there may be a choice as early as April 1.

While the possibilities have been around since last year, the final report came out Thursday in a 182 page report. .

According to Superintendent Mark Mondanaro, the consensus community opinion sought a long-term plan that would provide "some choices that don't make us go through all sorts of redistricting or similar closures or combinations of those things in a year or two."

About the only agreement in the plans is a recommendation in all four to close Kenmore Middle School.

Beyond that, there are other possible closings, including reconfigurations of Kenmore East High School and Kenmore West High School.

Meanwhile, the school board still has a hole in its budget for next year over $3 million.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.