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School Board Sued Over Closed School

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 8:47 AM

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The Cleveland Heights/University Heights Board of Education is being sued by a parents' group. It claims the board made the decision to close an elementary school behind closed doors. The parents say that's a violation of state's open meetings law. ideastream's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports.

Parents upset at the board’s announcement last June that Coventry Elementary would be closed to save money formed the group OPEN, which stands for Openly Promoting Enrollment Now.

In their suit they claim the decision to close the school was made without public deliberation, and that school officials did not respond to requests for meeting records. OPEN’s lawyer, Frank Gittis, says the decision was most likely made at an out-of-district retreat, and only the announcement was made at a public meeting.

Frank Gittis: That clearly indicated that some decision making happened previously. The other meetings were public, so the only other time it may have been discussed that we’re aware of - was that retreat.

OPEN also claims criteria that was supposed to lead the board to a decision was not used, and other elementary schools were removed from the list of schools at risk without explanation or public discussion. The Cleveland Heights/University Heights Board of Education did not return calls for comment. Lisa Ann Pinkerton, 90.3.

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