Group recommends closing school site

A committee formed by the Fountain Valley School District voted Tuesday night to recommend closing one of the district's schools to save money.

The School Boundaries & Closure Committee, which consists of parents, school officials and community members, voted 12 to 7 in favor of recommending a campus closure to the school board.

At the committee's next meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 24, the committee will work on criteria for determining which site to close, said Stephen McMahon, the district's assistant superintendent for business.

"It looks like we're embarking on a journey together," McMahon said after a count of the votes, which members submitted anonymously on slips of paper.

The district has seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one campus that covers kindergarten through eighth grade. McMahon has said that if the committee recommends closing a campus, it will almost certainly be an elementary one and close after the 2011-12 school year.

District officials expect to save about $400,000 annually by closing a site.

Tuesday's meeting was attended by a small group of parents, some of whom expressed dismay at the vote afterward. Julie Grudt, a parent at Fred Moiola K-8 School, said the district should consider other means of saving money, such as reducing administrative costs or selling the district headquarters at 10055 Slater Ave.

The committee's vote to recommend a school closure, she said, was "an outrage."

Michelle Grogan, also a Moiola parent, said she felt the committee had reviewed the information too quickly.

"I just feel like it was rushed," she said. "They did not take adequate time to really present all the facts."

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