Injunction sought against closure of Moon's Hyde Elementary, merger with Cornell

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An injunction to reverse a June 26 vote approving the closure of Moon Area’s R. Hyde Elementary School and directing administrators to pursue a merger with neighboring district Cornell is being sought by a group of five Moon Area parents and directors Michael Hauser and Jerry Testa.

The group’s attorney, Jack Cambest, said the litigants believe the Sunshine Act was violated during the voting process because public comment was not allowed when the initial written motion was amended and subsequently passed with a 6-2 vote. Public comment was again denied during a follow-up meeting held on June 30.

Mr. Cambest said any time an agenda is amended an opportunity for public comment should be provided.

The agenda item in motion had initially sought the shuttering of J.H. Brooks Elementary, with no mention of merger, but was amended to close the Hyde school and pursue merging after lengthy discussion and a short recess by the board.

During the months leading up to the vote, the district had provided more than a dozen scenarios for closures, renovations and expansions for the school board to consider throughout an elementary capital improvement process. The administrative recommendation presented to directors on March 3 called for the closure of Brooks Elementary.

During the process, parents and concerned citizens from Crescent and Moon repeatedly asked the board to keep the district’s five elementary school system intact.

The request seeking injunction will be filed later today, but no later than Monday, said Mr. Cambest, who wants to provide Moon Area with notice prior to its next meeting scheduled for Monday, July 21.

This injunction could put the pursuance of both issues on hold until a hearing is held about the matter.

Sonja Reis, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


First Published July 18, 2014 12:00 AM

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