Saturday, July 30, 2011

Montgomery schools officials reconsider site selection process | Lisa Gartner | Education | Washington Examiner

...The school board was heavily criticized when it chose Rock Creek Hills Park in Kensington as the future site of a middle school for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster. The park originally was the board's second choice to another park in Silver Spring.
That changed -- just hours before the 6-1 vote, shocking many.
"The process is broken," said Shannon Hamm, a 27-year county resident. "Citizens in the area need to be included in the selection process, not just afterward, because neighbors care about what happens in their neighborhood."
Planning board Chairwoman Francoise Carrie said she was "very distressed to learn second- or third-hand that the school system had identified one of our parks as a new school site."
"Parks are not vacant land and we don't consider them free," she said.
Councilman Marc Elrich, D-at large, chided the school system, recalling a recent ruling that the school board violated open-meeting laws by voting behind closed doors to lease a former school site to the county for ball fields...

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