The D.C. school board is expected tonight to examine once again the question of whether it should close some of the city's public schools. A majority of board members said they would vote to close some schools, but they differed on the issue of how many should be involved.
Schools that board members said they are most likely to consider are Bundy, for handicapped students, at 429 O St. NW; Nichols Avenue Elementary, 2427 Martin Luther King Ave. SE; Slater and Langston, side by side at North Capitol and P streets, and Lovejoy Elementary, 12th and D streets NE.
Board member Wanda Washburn (Ward 3) said some of her colleagues also had discussed closing Cleveland, Eighth and T streets NW; Carver, 45th and Lee streets NE, and Barnard, Fourth and Decatur streets NW. Washburn said she would vote against closing these three schools.
Last month, the 11-member board rejected Superintendent Floretta D. McKenzie's proposal to close 14 schools, deciding that not all needed to be closed. A majority of the members said they wanted to reconsider the matter--a reconsideration that, under board rules, must be done no later than tonight.
A vote tonight would be preliminary. The board cannot order a school closed until after a public hearing is held on each targeted unit.
Board president David H. Eaton (At-large), vice president Nathaniel Bush (Ward 7), Eugene Kinlow (At-large), R. David Hall (Ward 2), Linda Cropp (Ward 4) and Washburn said they would vote to close some of the schools on the superintendent's list.
R. Calvin Lockridge (Ward 8) said he would only support a proposal that includes one school in each ward, with the possible exception of Ward 3. Lockridge said he believes there is at least one school in all other wards that meets the superintendent's criteria for closing.
That criteria include a school's enrollment in relation to its capacity, its proximity to other schools, its age and the degree to which the community uses it. Ward 3 has the smallest school buildings in the city, and none of them is operating at less than 50 percent capacity.
The school system is expected to save between $100,000 and $200,000 for each school that is shut down.
Hall said that the board would lease space in any school it decides to close to community, governmental and nonprofit agencies.
The board does not now have authority to lease such space. Legislation to give the board such authority is being considered by the City Council's government operations committee.