UNI President reportedly recommends Price Lab School closure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: UNI President recommends Price Lab School closure


It may be the end of the road for a Cedar Valley school. Wednesday night, University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen is recommending that the state close Malcolm Price Laboratory School (MPLS) as of July 1st. The Iowa Board of Regents and the state legislature will need to approve the decision to close MPLS.

"One of the reasons we're doing this is to see how could we do things in a different way to save money. But also -- it reflects, is there a better way than a lab school to provide the opportunities for teachers," Allen said.

Allen spoke about the plan at three private meetings Wednesday night. But many students, and even some parents, say they're not letting the school close without a fight.

"Our school is not going to shut down because we won't let them," 6th grade student Greta Heistad said.

Best friends Greta Heistad and Miranda MacGillivray are only in sixth grade, but they're hoping to graduate high school as Panthers. And they're not alone. Hundreds of students and community members are trying to figure out how to save their school.

"We started on Sunday night, and now we have over 1,500 signatures on it," 11th grade student Margaret Creeden said.

Creeden and Kale Clay, both high school juniors, created an online petition over the weekend and are overwhelmed by the response they've received in just a few short days.

"We have signatures from all over the U.S. and different countries. So, we will stop it. Not a question," Clay said.

Some are questioning whether it's a fight they can win. Former MPLS Interim Director and current MPLS parent Bridgette Wagoner said she's passionate about keeping the school open., but Wagoner is slowly losing hope.

"I was here eleven years and the entire eleven years there was really no support for the school from the administration. Constantly a fight to prove our worth, to prove the merit of the school. It doesn't surprise me," she said.

Wagoner is thrilled to see people continue to push for MPLS, and supports the students who won't let the school close without a fight.

"I really love this school, and I don't know where I'm going to go if it shuts down," Heistad said.

"We all love the school, so keep it open," MacGillivray agreed.

Thursday afternoon, Allen is expected to announce more details about the program's future, as well as news regarding other programs on the budget chopping block.

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