Marion County School Board votes to keep Marion Military Academy students together
MARION COUNTY, Fla. - The Marion County School Board held an emergency meeting to decide the fate of the nearly 200 Marion Military Academy students.
Marion Military Academy closed abruptly last week due to money problems. Since then, the students and their parents have been fighting to save their school. On Monday, the Marion County School board voted unanimously to create a similar program for the students at the Marion Technical Institute.
“Feeling good,” parent Nicole Meade said. “Feeling exhausted. It’s kind of been a non-stop whirlwind. But, the parents have, they’ve banded together. We haven’t backed down. We’ve been in constant contact.”
The Marion County School Board’s decision means the students have another option for their kids who do not want to re-enroll at their public high school.
“We will keep all four grades together, keep the JROTC component, and, I believe, Mr. McCollum, has been offered a position as the dean for all these students at MTI,” Meade said.
There are still some details for the district to iron out, but Marion County School Board members said the school is ready to take on the influx of students.
“Every kid does not learn in the same environment as everybody else does, and this environment really, really works for them,” Marion County School Board Chair Eric Cummings said. “Try(ing) to mainstream them back into a regular high school could be more detrimental than anything.”
Parents FOX 35 News spoke with are happy about the decision.
“We’re all feeling good about it,” Meade said. “We’re feeling very hopeful that this is definitely it. There was a unanimous vote with the school board. So, we’re all moving forward and now everybody is just wondering how we get enrolled. We want to make sure our kids are definitely in school on January 7th.”
Marion County Schools will also provide transportation to Marion Technical Institute for the students who need it.