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Fairfax School Board Set To Decide Future Of Clifton Elementary

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The Fairfax School Board is expected to vote Thursday night on whether to keep Clifton Elementary open.
Jonathan Wilson
The Fairfax School Board is expected to vote Thursday night on whether to keep Clifton Elementary open.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, the Fairfax County Public School Board is expected to vote Thursday night on whether to close the elementary school in the small town of Clifton.

It's an issue that seems to have split the board, but one at-large member thinks she has a win-win solution.

Students, parents and nearby residents say closing Clifton Elementary would be a disaster for their historic little town, but some school board members project declining enrollment at Clifton in the coming years, and say the $11 to $17 million in renovations the building needs, would be better spent on other schools.

At-Large school board member Tina Hone says tonight's vote will be a close one.

But she's also proposing an amendment that she says turns a lose-lose situation, into a win-win. It would allow the district to use the millions of dollars it would have spent of Clifton on other school buildings, and push any renovations to the Clifton Elementary building back to 2013.

"The community of Clifton has basically said, 'If my choice is staying in this modest school, or you closing it, give me the modest school,'" Hone says. "I think we should reward that reasonable behavior, not punish it."

Hone says her amendment would also allow board members time to see if projections about declining enrollment at Clifton are accurate.

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