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Maplewood to close at the end of the year

"No other school was considered. No other options were legitimately considered," he said. "And in fact, at the last public forum, we were told directly no other school would be considered. So, the process is not complete. The analysis is invalid. You don't have all of the information to make this decision. So I would encourage you to not make this decision."

Referring to himself as a newcomer to the Maplewood community, Chris Savinsky, who is the father of two students at the school and what would have been another, had attended every budget forum before this meeting. He had been very vocal about Maplewood closing, and on this evening he prepared a five-minute response to the board.

"Many of us in Maplewood reject the legitimacy of this proposal and urge you to consider alternatives on grounds relating to the assurances given to our community in relation to the annexation," he said. "Additionally, I personally reject this proposal on the grounds of it's fiscal responsibility."

Savinsky added the community was given a "firm handshake" by the district that assured them the school would stay open for the next seven to 10 years.

He then went on to call the closure an "act of hostility" and said the community was not given enough time to come up with an enrollment plan.

"I think in every crisis, there's an opportunity and I think you're missing ours," he said. "The budget gap is large, much larger than the savings realized by the closing of Maplewood. Much, much larger. And if the predictions hold true, with the tax cap, it won't be $3 million budget gap, it will be a $4-, $5- or $6 million budget gap. Of which you'll plug $750,000 with the closing of Maplewood."

Before any public comment was made and before the board had voted on the issue, Corr gave his explanation as to why he felt the closure of Maplewood was the best option for the district for it to make a dent in its deficit.

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