Legislators ask Attorney General for advice on Price Lab - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Valley legislators ask Attorney General for advice on Price Lab

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The future of Malcolm Price Laboratory School (MPLS) remains in limbo. Thursday, local lawmakers called on Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller for his opinion on the legality of closing the K-12 school.

Reps. Pat Grassley, Walt Rogers, and Chris Hagenow sent a letter to Attorney General Tom Miller Thursday afternoon, asking the Attorney General to issue an opinion on the matter.

The representatives are asking Attorney General Miller to weigh in on "whether the General Assembly retains the sole authority to close Malcolm Price Laboratory School," or if "the Board of Regents governing authority... extend to closing the school."

The Iowa Board of Regents voted unanimously in support of University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen's recommendation to close the K-12 school effective July 1, 2012.  Many MPLS families, educators, and UNI College of Education faculty members are fighting to keep the school open.

The speed and manner in which these major decisions are being made was one of many topics brought up in a web chat with KWWL and the WCF Courier. It's also catching the attention of Cedar Valley lawmakers.

"Regardless of whether you agree with the decision or not, or if you're republican or democrat is irrelevant on this. I think this has everything to do with -- was this a transparent process. Why was it made so quickly?" said Rep. Pat Grassley, (R) New Hartford.

Grassley, Rep. Walt Rogers, (R) Cedar Falls, and NU High alum Chris Hagenow (R) Windsor Heights, are asking the Attorney General to answer these questions. They're also unclear over who has the authority to close Price Lab -- the legislature, or the Board of Regents.

"As legislators, we need to feel comfortable with the decision that was made. Not whether to close it or not, but the way in which it was made," said Grassley.

The lawmakers are asking the Attorney General to render an opinion as quickly as possible. Because in order to close the school in July -- as Allen is proposing -- the legislature will have to make a decision of their own in a matter of weeks.

Click here to read the letter from the House of Representatives.

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