Tense board meeting discusses local schools future - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tense board meeting discusses local schools future

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

 The Cedar Valley Catholic School system's board of education voted to keep one of its oldest schools open for another year. 

The board released a report earlier this week that suggested closing the Sacred Heart school in Waterloo to allow the system to operate more efficiently. Over 30 people spoke to the board Thursday night, many addressing the large Burmese and Hispanic population that attends the school.

"Our parish is blessed with the Burmese," said Sacred Heart pastor, Father Ken Stecker. 

The board claims it contacted over half of those minority families, but many wonder if the language barrier got in the way. Others wondering why they weren't contacted at all including a member of the board. 

"I'm one of them and I haven't been contacted," said board member Martha Real. 

"The board has prided itself and publicly stated repeatedly that transparency is one of its core values.You have failed at this goal," said one constituent. 

The board attempted to go into executive session but after discourse from the crowd, they briefly discussed matters publicly. 

The board said closing the system would save about 300 thousand dollars a year, but many of the Burmese families would not qualify for free transportation based on where they live. 

"We built our lives and families around the sacred heart school.abandoning the sacred heart school would be abandoning the Burmese community," said a representative of the Burmese families in attendance. 

The board would eventually vote to keep the school open for the 2018-2019 school year.

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