Do Not Close McDowell School

Do Not Close McDowell School

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Columbia Cares for McDowell started this petition to Maury County Public Schools

After 8 years of delays, the sudden decision to stop “kicking the can down the road” in the middle of an economic crisis along with the addition of new board appointees and new superintendent leadership is a gross oversight of vision and leadership that our community needs from our School Board during these extremely stressful times. 2020 is not the year that our board needs be washing their hands of McDowell without a clear plan for the future of a community built around the oldest school in Columbia.

Columbia is a major driver of the economy in Maury County and represents a majority of the sales and property tax revenue the county receives. Columbia's aging elementary schools deserve more attention than they are currently getting. We also must note that the sales tax referendum, in part, was supported based on assurances of a new McDowell and other school improvements. Our County needs to be held accountable to this.

Your signature on this petition indicates that you believe McDowell is important to Columbia and further considerations must be made before we even begin to talk about closing the school and rezoning students.

We ask to cancel or postpone the vote for a “plan to close McDowell” until further research and efforts are made by community members and city/county leadership that will offer clarity and positive solutions.

  • We need a thorough and unbiased study of the impact of removing or relocating a school from a community.
  • We need an updated, thorough cost analysis on building a new school and the potential impact on taxpayers. *update: a facility condition assessment has been added to the updates section of the petition.*
  • We need time to bring this before county commissioners and the commission needs time to discuss possible solutions in 2021.
    This decision should not be made when school and county budgets are in distress due to a pandemic and/or other factors.  
  • We know that the building is not fit for costly repairs that will only bandage the issues at hand. We are seeking further vision from our School Board and central office about what the next step could be that is not a complete and permanent closure of McDowell.

McDowel Highlights

  • Originally a one-room school house built in 1883.
  • Oldest school in Columbia. 
  • One of the first schools to integrate in 1964 and first to hire a Black teacher in 1965.
  • One of the region’s first elementary school libraries and Parent-Teacher Associations.
  • The area it serves is a generous mix of diverse families in all demographic areas.
0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!