Sunnyside Elementary school closing its doors - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sunnyside Elementary school closing its doors

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Sunnyside Elementary will be closing its doors. Sunnyside Elementary will be closing its doors.
KELLOGG, Idaho -

"Since 1970, we've had a 66 percent decrease in our enrollment," says Kellogg School District school board member Art Krulitz.

In June, Krulitz along with the other school board members were given the task to save Shoshone County $850,000 annually. This was after the district spent three years dipping into reserve funds. Krulitz says for years the population in Shoshone County has been dropping, putting the county in a tight spot financially.

"We don't have enough money to maintain the five school buildings we have," says Krulitz.

The Silver Valley is lacking in sustainable jobs and is surrounded by nontaxable federal land. Krulitz says these factors added with declining enrollment make it hard to find adequate funding for the schools.

"We have to do something," says Krulitz. "We're at a point where we've lost so much money."

Months of open forums led to this week's decision to close Sunnyside Elementary school in Kellogg. Students who attend now will be transferred to Pinehurst Elementary for the next school year. A decision riddled with obstacles, but a bright light at the end of the tunnel for Krulitz. 

However, closing the school is only one piece to this puzzle. Over 80 percent of the district's budget goes to salaries and benefits. No decisions have been made yet, but cuts will be made there as well.

"When you lose those kids and you lose the money that's coming in from the students being in your district, then you have to begin to look at staff," says Krulitz.

Board members say in total they're looking to get rid of four staff members from across the district and hope attrition will take care of that problem for them.

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