In the days following the announcement by the Wissahickon School Board to close Mattison Elementary School in June, Ambler Borough leadership announced plans for a referendum that would change the way the district conducts business.
That's the good news for this district.
Mounting evidence was brought to light that the board, already under scrutiny for wrongful actions during the state-mandated process for closure, may have acted illegally when members of the board held meetings where board matters were discussed, including the closure of a school and the construction of a new high school. These meetings included 'select' members of the public, were by invitation only and did not meet the legal requirements of notifying the public, a mandate from the State of Pennsylvania and U.S. Department of Education.
The legality of these meetings is currently under investigation.
The question for members of the district is: do you consider it ethical to hold 'secret' meetings where board business is discussed?
Parents and the community of Ambler have been shedding a light on the actions of the board, which conducts business in secrecy and meets publicly only to satisfy certain legal mandates.
The announcement of the closure of Mattison Elementary has been very divisive.
As one parent stated "we have been accused of being selfish for our work on behalf of Mattison but when people in the district learn that this issue is much more than about the closing of a school, that ethical and legal violations have and are occurring, perhaps they will pay attention and demand answers from the people they elected to represent them."
Until then, the PR nightmare this district faces has a long way to go.