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Moon school closing fought

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Saturday, July 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

An attorney representing two Moon Area School Board members and five district parents said he will seek a court injunction on Monday against the board's recent vote to close an elementary school.

Attorney Jack Cambest said on Friday he plans to ask Alle­gheny County Common Pleas Court to stay any other action related to closing Hyde Elementary, until the court can decide whether to void the board vote.

School board members Michael Hauser and Jerry Testa and the parents allege that the board violated the state Sunshine Act because the public was not given an opportunity to comment on an amended motion to close Hyde at a June 25 meeting, Cambest said.

The board voted 6-2, with Hauser and Testa opposed and Samuel Tranter absent, to close the school.

The group also claims the members who voted to close Hyde made a preliminary decision while on a break during the 6½-hour meeting, Cambest said, and that amounted to an executive session about which the public was not informed.

School board President A. Michael Olszewski denied those allegations. “Just because they don't like the outcome, they're trying to change the rules of the game, and it's ridiculous,” Olszewski said.

Moon Area staff had recommended closing Brooks Elementary, and that proposal was on the board's agenda for June 25. About 40 parents commented on that topic before the board opted to close Hyde.

Scott LaRue and some other board members had said they stressed for months that all 13 options considered for closing and renovating schools would remain on the table until a vote, and that the public was given ample opportunity to comment.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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