The Lüganuse Municipality will have three general education schools instead of the current five from next fall. The education reform was passed with 10 out of 19 municipality council votes. The schools will be closed because the municipality is running out of people and the cost of maintaining them.
While the closing of the Sonda Elementary School with its six students did not stir passions, the community has not accepted the decision to close the Lüganuse School attended by 60 students.
A parent-teacher conference scheduled for Wednesday should see a decision of whether to turn to court over the local government's decision to close the basic school. The options are switching to the private school model or asking the state for support.
"In a situation where the state has decided to support the Estonian-language Kohtla-Järve Basic School that will move under its wing, I believe that all rural basic schools, Estonian-speaking schools, in other words, deserve to be extended the same courtesy," said Kaja Toikka, member of the board of trustees.
Jevgeni Sarri, whose children also attended the Lüganuse School, said he understands the municipality's decision.
"We have no need for five schools, and even three are too many. The municipality has 600 students, soon to be 500 – it is a single school's worth," he said.
Arno Rossman, Lüganuse deputy municipality mayor, pointed out that the local government has 672 students and 21,000 square meters of schools or 30 square meters per student. "Considering the fact that the number of residents keeps falling, it will soon be too much for the local government to maintain empty classrooms."
Lüganuse Municipality, made up of the cities of Kiviõli and Püssi and the municipalities of Lüganuse, Maidla and Sonda after two administrative reforms, has a population of 8,200.
Editor: Marcus Turovski