MUNCIE, Ind. - Officials with Muncie Community Schools have voted to consolidate their high schools.
The board voted 4-1 to move ahead with plans to consolidate students from Muncie Southside High School to their in-town rival Muncie Central High School.
Officials said they are facing budget troubles and the consolidation will allow for more programs for students.
Earlier in the month, voters defeated a proposed property tax increase that officials said was needed to keep school buses running.
The district said it could make ends meet if the two high schools merged down to one.
"It started out cost containing and I thought there were other things we could do to cut the costs of our expenses, and we didn’t have to take this drastic of a measure,” Muncie School Board President Bev Kelley said.
The idea was met with strong opposition from parents and students at Muncie Southside and Muncie Central high schools.
"I don't want to graduate with a Central diploma and I'm a Rebel and they're not going to take that away from me. They can never take that away from us," Southside freshman Cody Bryant said.
The Southside building will be converted into a middle school. Officials said the Muncie Central building is the only one that can accommodate all students in grades nine through 12.
District leaders were already planning for extra security at both schools Tuesday. The superintendent said the changes will go into effect next school year.