MANATEE COUNTY - Among the casualties of the massive budget cuts in the Manatee County School District is Central High School.
District officials say closing down the alternative school will save more than a million dollars, but what will happen to the school's 231 students?
Graduation day is set to happen in just nine days. It's the last graduating class to use this particular facility as district leaders have decided to close it down.
While the buildings will be shuttered, students will continue learning under the Central High School academic plans they're currently following, they'll just be doing so at other schools around the district.
"I was shocked. I didn’t think that my school would be shutting down. I mean it’s a really good school and people have a bad rep for it, but the kids that go here are great and the teachers do a really good job teaching," says student Jamie Sauer.
Central High School finds itself on the chopping block amid the district's massive budget cuts, as officials have decided to shutter the facility, saving the district 1.6 million dollars.
"I’m moving forward with proposal to the board to close Central High School, because we're not seeing the outcomes in the metrics around success for the cost efficiency and savings," says Superintendent Rick Mills.
While the portables that make up the school will close, officials say education under the school's name will continue.
The 231 students there each follow individual educational plans to suit their needs, and they'll continue to follow those plans, just at other schools in Manatee County.
Officials say the restructuring will provide a better path to graduation for students who may be struggling.
"I actually chose to come here because it’s a smaller school and less drama." Sophomore Jamie Sauer says she'll probably switch to Manatee High, but she isn't sure just yet. She's hoping that move won't impact her progress too she's already made. "At this school I can move at my own pace and not have to worry about failing or anything, because I've always done a good job here. It means a lot to me, because I actually wanted to see myself graduate from here."
All of these changes will cost the district around 1 million dollars, officials say that will yield a savings of more than a million dollars.
We spoke with several parents who did not want to appear on camera who said they were disappointed, but that they understand the cuts had to come from somewhere given the circumstances.