State decides to close Roosevelt for good

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Crusader Staff Report

Gary’s storied Roosevelt College and Career Academy is now history.

The Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) gave the final decision to close the struggling school weeks after ending its flawed takeover that gave $31 million to the EdisonLearning Corporation. State officials did not want to pay the estimated $9.3 million to $15 million to repair Roosevelt’s historic building, which had been closed since January, 2019 after the pipes burst during frigid temeperatures.

The DUAB on Thursday voted 5-0 to close Roosevelt.

With little transparency, many Roosevelt alumni and Gary residents had expressed little hope in saving Roosevelt as the state-controlled school district and Emergency Manager Peter Morikis held community meetings that provided little answers.

Roosevelt was taken over by the state in 2012 after six consecutive years of F grades on the state’s accountabilty system. The state awarded EdisonLearning two five-year contracts to boost the school’s academic achievement among Roosevelt students. The state continued to pay EdisonLearning $5 million per year even when there was little to no academic progress among Roosevelt students. In its final years, Roosevelt students lagged behind the state in academic achievement as the iconic school remained under state control.

Built in the 1920’s, Roosevelt was built for Black students when Gary’s schools were segregated. Roosevelt has produced attorneys, doctors, mayors, entertainers, athletes and other distinguished alumni across the country.

A community town hall meeting will be held at noon on Saturday, February 15 at the Glen Theater, 20 W Ridge Rd.

Editor’s Note: The community town hall meeting will discuss legislative issues, the Crusader has learned. It’s unclear whether concerns about Roosevelt’s closure will be discussed. 

 

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