“I thought it was too open,” Ott said of the trigger.
Ott said he wanted to make sure the legislation is “truthful and close” to what was presented to the public during the process which resulted in the consolidation of three districts into one in 2019.
He also removed language that said a public referendum on school closures could not be held at the same time as a referendum on school obligations. A new language would allow both to take place at the same time.
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Ott said amendments to the bill will be presented to the House when he returns after the Easter recess.
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The bill retains the original consolidating wording that no school can be closed (apart from these two conditions being met) without three public hearings and a public referendum.
The bill states that no school can be closed until three public hearings take place at least two weeks apart in the relevant attendance areas, with information to include, among other things, “a delineation cost factors involved in keeping the school open and transporting students to another school.
In addition to the requirement for public hearings, the bill states that “if a school located in a school attendance zone that existed before the amalgamation is to be closed and the students of that school move to a school located in another attendance zone, qualified voters in the attendance zone where the school is to be closed and must first approve the closure by referendum. “