This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Possible school closures are facing the City of Lawrence, Kansas.

Monday night, the Lawrence Public Schools board committed to not closing schools for the impending academic year. Six schools could close within the district in the future. However, parents and school board members say there has to be another way.

For parents it’s somewhat a sigh of relief when the board decided not to close schools in the short term. However, the budget deficit exists, and the district will have to find a way to account for $7 million.

It was a sweet sentiment with a strong message. Kids and parents outside the LPS Administration Building held valentines asking to save their schools.

“I think we’re all scared,” Alicia Erickson with Save our Schools 497 said.

“We’re hoping that the school board directs the district to go back to the drawing board and get more creative,” parent, Shannon Berquist said.

The district is faced with a decline in enrollment and a decline in funding since the start of the pandemic.

“There’s not one bad person who did it. It’s just a lot of bad choices that added up and when COVID hit it made it harder,” Erickson said.

Ultimately, the board was torn and decided not to close schools for this year, and next, but will need to evaluate in the future. They also say they’ll need to save the school system by figuring out how to find $7 million in the budget.

“They understand that this is a rash and irresponsible decision to make with irreversible consequences,” Erickson said.

Where that money will come from is unclear. The board plans to spend the time they have to review the difficulties the district is facing.

“We would like the school board to vote no on closing schools and to direct the district to go back to the table to bring us some better options,” Berquist said.

In the end the board says they will be looking to find ways to make the budget more efficient. They did say there will be substantial cuts to programs that impact kids, but it’s unclear what those would be at this time.

There is another meeting scheduled to be held on February 21 to allow public comment about the possibility of school closures.

📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.