A group trying to stop Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort, Ill., from closing at the end of the school year is alleging in a lawsuit that district officials want to shutter the school to hide financial improprieties.
The Daily Southtown reports that Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers UNITE's lawsuit contends that closing the school enables the district to avoid having a financial oversight panel assigned to the district.
"The district knew that the appointment of such a panel would ultimately reveal the malfeasance and improprieties engaged in by the board and administration since at least 2009," the group contends in its legal filings.
Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers UNITE's argument is made in an amended lawsuit filed last week. Earlier, a judge had dismissed parts of the group's initial lawsuit, but ruled that the group could move forward with its claim that the district was trying to prevent state officials from reviewing school finances.
The board for Lincoln-Way (Ill.) High School District 210, based in New Lenox, voted in August to close Lincoln-Way North, one of its four high school campuses in the district, as it tries to close a large budget deficit.
Lincoln-Way North opened in 2008 and Lincoln-Way West opened in 2009 as the district added classroom space to accommodate an expected influx of students. Enrollment was projected to climb to 10,000
But development slowed in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, and now, only about 7,000 students attend four underutilized Lincoln-Way high schools.