The state Department of Public Instruction is holding a series of public hearings, beginning tomorrow, to gather comments on the closure of one of three state residential schools for blind and deaf students.
The legislature told the department to give them the name of a school to close by January 15, 2012 . The chosen school will close July 1.
The three schools are the Gov. Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, the N.C. School for the Deaf in Morganton, and the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in Wilson. About 220 students attend these schools.
Tomorrow's public hearing is in the Morganton Municipal Auditorium, 401 S. College St.
The second public hearing will be held Thursday at Barton College's Hardy Alumni Hall, off Atlantic Drive in Wilson
The third hearing will be Sept. 28 in the Raleigh City Council Chamber, room 201, in Raleigh City Hall, 222 W. Hargett Street.
All hearings will be from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Interpreters will be provided.
DPI is to recommend a school to close based on these criteria:
(1) Minimization of impact on services to deaf and blind students currently served by the residential schools.
(2) Minimization of costs of modifications at the two remaining residential schools to accommodate students from the closed school.
(3) Maximization of funds generated or net savings to the State from costs avoided due to the closure of one school and the sale or transfer to other State agencies of the school campus and other physical assets.
(4) Minimization of required travel for students of the school that is closed.
(5) Historical and cultural significance of the school.
The department is also collecting comments via online survey.