Editorial: The school closure process was a mess

The Daily Sentinel: The process that Mesa County Valley District 51 Board of Education used to make its decision to close East Middle School — more accurately, the lack of process — was not fair to this community.

We want to be upfront in saying that the Board has the authority to close schools. We also acknowledge that declining enrollment means some hard decisions need to be made. We fully understand that East Middle may very well need to be closed. That said, what the board did Thursday night felt unnatural, rushed and contrived.

First of all, we question the legality of the vote to close East Middle School and reconfigure Fruita’s grade system. The District did not publish an agenda for this meeting until six hours before it was held. This flagrant violation of Colorado’s open meetings laws shows a general disregard for rules and process among the Board majority.

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