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School board to hold forum on possible facility closure
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Board of Education

What: School closing public hearing

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 13

Where: Jones Elementary School, 6th Street, Gainesville

Jones Elementary school parents and staff will get the chance in two weeks to share their thoughts about the school possibly closing.

The Hall County Board of Education will host a public comment meeting on the issue from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 13 at the school in the Chicopee community.

“This will be an opportunity for community members to voice any opinion — in favor or against — the closing of one of our elementary schools,” said Will Schofield, Hall superintendent.

“We will have a sign-in sheet, limit time of response depending upon the number of individuals who want to speak and follow normal rules of decorum.”

The April meeting will be the first time that the public has been able to comment on issue to the board, since the group first announced earlier this month that Jones may close next school year. The board is considering shutting down a school in an effort to “utilize fiscal resources more efficiently during these times of unprecedented budget cuts by the state of Georgia.” According to administrators, the system could save around $1 million by closing the school.

The Jones Parent Teacher Organization held a community meeting Monday and encouraged parents and supporters to attend the board’s public comment meeting and share why the school shouldn’t be closed.

Although everyone is welcome to share their concerns, system officials are asking attendees to not be redundant.

“As always, we will encourage groups of individuals with common thoughts to select a spokesperson rather than repeat each others’ arguments. This will be consistent with the procedures which have been followed by our board for all such public hearings,” Schofield said.

“Thus, this will not be a time for dialogue between the board and community members. That is a tool open to any citizen at any time via e-mail, phone or personal visit.”

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