SIMI VALLEY : 2 Forums Planned on School's Closure

The Simi Valley school board will host two community forums in April to answer parents' questions about the proposed closure of Sycamore Elementary School, delaying a final vote on the issue by a week.

That decision came Tuesday night after three hours of public testimony in opposition to the closure plan, which was recommended by a committee of parents and administrators this month.

Officials say closing tiny Sycamore Elementary will cut about $200,000 from Simi Valley Unified's squeezed budget. But parents argue that shutting down a neighborhood school should be considered only as a last resort.

As Tuesday's school board meeting continued into its sixth hour at midnight, tired trustees said holding two community forums would be the best way to address parent concerns.

"I think there is a lot of misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up," Trustee Judy Barry said.

The forums will be held at 7 p.m. on April 7 and 6:30 p.m. on April 18. Locations have not yet been determined.

Board members also agreed to move their next meeting to April 25 to allow additional time for the forums. The board had been scheduled to vote on the matter on April 18.

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