Local School Set To Close Due To Funding Issues

HARTFORD (KFSM) -- The Hartford campus is closing due to lack of funding, according to  Superintendent Edward Ray.

The campus will permanently close at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Students will begin the 2018-2019 school year at the Hackett campus, Ray said.

Students said they found out abut the closing in an assembly.

"It was the hardest thing... I could just see it all over (my son's) face, Hartford Mother Keely Brown.

Ninth-grade student, Dylan Dees said he and the 226 other students who attend Hartford schools were called into that assembly and told the building would close.

"Everyone started breaking down crying," Dees said. "I even started crying. Watching everyone leave and go to a different school, this is out home. No one wants to leave."

The small schools in Hartford joined the Hackett School District during the 2015-2016 school year, although they remained open. But parents said they had no idea the announcement was coming.

"Most of the parents found out on Facebook," Brown said. "We didn't have a warning, we didn't have any warning. We haven't been talked to and nobody has told us anything except for the kids."

Dees said it'll be hard on his family. On the days he spends with his dad, they drive all the way from Oklahoma for school.

"Every morning he drives me from Spiro to Harford," Dees said. "He picks me up every day and every time he's home he tries to make every one of my games."

Dees said being involved in sports at his new school will be harder, too because of the added distance from home.

Parents and students said they are trying to process the news while hoping for answers soon.

"We've been hearing about it for years," Brown said. "Four years and five years Hartford is shutting down and it's always here, so you think it's not ever going to happen. But, it's happening. They're shutting down."

Parents and students said they will go to Hackett or Mansfield schools after Hartford closes.

Ray said he doesn't know how many faculty members will be laid off as a result.

5NEWS reached out to Ray, school board members and Hartford's mayor for more information, but they either could not comment or we have yet to hear back from them.