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In an emotional and often contentious evening of public comment, teachers, preachers, parents, business owners, retirees and children professed their love for Big Park Community School and their exasperation with a proposal to shutter the school.


They were among more than 400 people who attended a public hearing held by the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board, which is considering closing the school. The proposal is part of a district-wide restructuring aimed at dealing with financial challenges brought on by declining enrollment and inadequate funding.

Whether their impassioned pleas will sway a majority of board members who appear to have made up their minds to close BPCS will not be known until Tuesday, March 22, when the issue is set for a vote.

The main themes of the three-and-a-half-hour hearing, which was held at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, were that the Village of Oak Creek will lose the “heart of the community” and that the governing board hasn’t done its due diligence and is rushing through the restructuring process without involving teachers and community members.

Under the proposal, students and staff of BPCS would be moved to West Sedona School.

About 60 people lined up to speak, most of whom opposed the closing. The few who didn’t instead called for cooperation to ensure the success of integrating the schools.

Read the Wednesday, March 16, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News for comments, including one prominent business man’s call for the resignation of three governing board members.

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