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City, Dayton schools form task force on district’s underused buildings

A 16-member community task force will study potential closure of multiple Dayton Public Schools buildings, after city leaders suggested the task force to the school district.

Acting Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said Thursday that the task force is expected by April 1 to submit recommendations to the school board, which would make any final decisions on DPS facilities. Public community input meetings will be held in March, not January as originally planned, and the group is soliciting input now, via the email address yourideas@dps.k12.oh.us.

FIRST STORY: Dayton may close three or more schools

Lolli repeated Thursday that numerous schools opened in the past 12 years are significantly under-enrolled, leading to financial inefficiencies in the district.

“This is a community issue as well as a district issue, and we need to make sure that we do it appropriately and do it well,” Lolli said. “We need to bring students back into the Dayton Public Schools, but at the same time we need to right-size the district and make sure we are fiscally responsible to the community.”

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The task force will be co-chaired by new Dayton school board member Mohamed Al-Hamdani and Dayton city commissioner Jeff Mims, who was a longtime DPS teacher and school board member.

Other task force members include leaders such as city manager Shelley Dickstein, Bryan Bucklew of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, Ron Budzik of the Dayton Business Committee, artist/community activist Bing Davis, and Dayton teachers union President David Romick.

Lolli repeated Thursday that no decisions have been made yet on which schools will close, or how many.

RELATED: Year in review for Dayton, Ohio schools in 2017

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