The East St. Louis school system says it will shutter five schools because of declining enrollment and in an effort to pare the district's roughly $12 million budget deficit.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the schools will close by June 30. Officials say that, along with related layoffs, could save the district $2.5 million to $3.7 million next school year.
School board President Lonzo Greenwood says the panel is saddened. But he says the closures are necessary because of a lack of federal funds that can't be replaced by local taxes.
A public town hall meeting is scheduled for April 26 at Mason-Clark Middle School to discuss attendance boundaries for the elementary schools that students will attend next year.