BREAKING NEWS: Update on Stillwater School Board School Closures Decision

— BREAKING NEWS —

Update to the Alpha News story released this morning: Stillwater School Board Votes 5-2 to Close Elementary Schools; Lawsuits Imminent

Groups opposed to the Stillwater School District’s plan to close three elementary schools, Stop Bold Cold and 834 Voice, have announced plans to move forward with a lawsuit against Stillwater School District ISD 834 to stop the closures of Marine, Withrow and Oak Park elementary schools; expose wrong-doing by the district board members and administration, and “accelerate the removal of board members and administrators that have betrayed our community.”

From the Stop Bold Cold Facebook page:

The leadership and community behind Stop Bold Cold and 834 Voice are deeply troubled and saddened by the ISD 834 Board’s decision to close Withrow, Marine, and Oak Park Elementary.

The ISD 834 Board rejected the Findings of Fact (attached) document provided by the 834 Voice team… It is attached below for public consumption. We at 834 Voice stand behind our data and research that proves B.O.L.D. is based on misrepresented data and false assumptions. It is also clear that those Board members who voted “yes” made their decision prior to the meeting as evidenced by their prepared statements.

834 Voice Legal team will be meeting with attorney Fritz Knaak this afternoon to discuss next steps. The plan is to expose egregious board member and administrator malfeasance, especially:
• deceptive campaign practice
• violation of open meeting laws
• violation of MN Data Practices Act
• dereliction of duty
• ethical violations
• conflicts of interest

The goal is to not only reverse last night’s decision, but to accelerate the removal of board members and administrators that have betrayed our community.

The efforts of StopBoldCold.org and this Facebook page will be redirected to support 834 Voice going forward (www.834voice.org) Significant fundraising will now be required. Please continue to donate via the www.gofundme.com/stopboldcold site, or the online auction site www.32auctions.com/CelebrateOurSchools ). If your donation is over $100 it is recommended to be made by check to 834 Voice and delivered to Lake Elmo Bank.

As was reported Alpha News’ article published earlier today, the planned lawsuit above will be the second suit filed against ISD 834 regarding this issue.  Melissa Douglas has retained attorney Erick Kaardal and has filed a petition against ISD 834 in district court:

The petition states, “Stillwater Area School District, after obtaining voter approval for school building bonds not to exceed $97.5 million now seeks to materially change the original purpose for the obligation proceeds. By doing so, the School District is violating not only statutory law, but the social contract between it and the parents to obtain passage of the bond obligations. Instead of making improvements to existing schools it now plans to close three elementary schools.”

Melissa Douglas, the petitioner, said, “We, the taxpayers, voted on May 12, 2015 in favor of the bond project based on this planned investment in our neighborhood schools. This investment was an explicit endorsement and covenant by the Board to the voters that it planned to upgrade these schools and keep them open.”

Alpha News will continue to report on this issue as information comes in; please subscribe to Alpha News to keep updated on this developing story.