Mesa County school district did not violate the open meetings law, court rules

The Daily Sentinel: Colorado’s Court of Appeals recently upheld the January 2017 School District 51 Board of Education decision to eliminate the job coach program, a case that was brought by two former employees.

Job coaches Nancy Booz and Trish Hall were laid off by District 51 in late January 2017, days after school board members voted to get rid of the job coach program.

The program helped students with disabilities search, apply for and stay in a job and obtain school credit for job training. As job coaches, Booz and Hall worked as liaisons between students and employers.

But district leaders said federal law that went into effect in 2017 meant Colorado’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation was required to provide the same support.

Booz and Hall both challenged their terminations through a hearing officer, who upheld the district’s decision, according to the Court of Appeals ruling. Booz and Hall could not be reached for comment.

Booz and Hall then sued the school district, claiming the school board violated Colorado’s open meetings law by failing to provide adequate notice that they were considering eliminating the job coach program.

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