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Lehi Alpine

Parents sue Alpine (Utah) district over possible school closures

May 9, 2023
The parents contend that the district hasn't followed procedures for notifying the public about the possible closing of 5 elementary schools.

A group of parents has sued the Alpine (Utah) School District to block the possible closing of five elementary schools.

KSL.com reports that the lawsuit contends that the district hasn't followed the law in its process of exploring the closure of Lehi, Valley View, Lindon, Windsor and Sharon elementary schools and associated boundary studies.

The parents say the district has not followed the spirit or the letter of Utah law for school closures and boundary changes, which requires parents and leaders of affected cities be given a 120-day notice to allow for study and comment.

"We feel that the board has not met the legal demands placed on them to continue with these school closures," said Crystal Muhlestein, a plaintiff and parent of students at Windsor Elementary School.

During the district's Nov. 29 board meeting, after a proposed $595 million bond election failed, the board requested a districtwide boundary study to explore possibilities around restructuring or consolidating boundaries and evaluating school buildings for potential closure.

In early December, the district sent a letter to parents notifying them that because the proposed bond failed, the district would be initiating a boundary study that could result in potential closures.

On March 1, the district then sent an email to parents and city mayors, councils and administrators, notifying them that the five elementary schools were being considered for closure or boundary adjustments.

However, the lawsuit contends that at a Feb. 28 board meeting, the board voted to close the five elementary schools and carry out the associated boundary and program changes to be effective in the 2023-24 school year.

At that meeting, the board directed staff to begin a formal process that could result in closing the schools. The district asserts that the vote wasn't a final nail in the coffin of the five schools but, instead, a vote to move into the formal study process.

The district is adamant that no final decision has been made regarding the closure of any of the five schools. A final decision likely won't come until the end of June.

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