County files lawsuit against Brevard School Board

Commission hopes to prevent 3 schools from closing

Published On: Mar 21 2013 01:54:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2013 02:28:23 PM EDT

Brevard County filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Brevard School Board, seeking an injunction blocking the closing of three local schools, according to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

In the suit, Brevard County attorney Scott Knox accused the school board of multiple violations of an agreement between the county and the school district, when the board voted to close Clearlake Middle in Cocoa, Gardendale Elementary on Merritt Island and South Lake Elementary in Titusville.

School district officials said the closings would save about $2.5 million a year, as part of an effort to cut $30 million from the district budget.

School officials have said they did nothing improper in deciding to close the schools, after Brevard County voters in November defeated a half-cent sales-tax initiative to help fund schools.

But Knox argues in the lawsuit that the school district did not abide by terms of its 2008 interlocal agreement for public school facility planning, which it entered with the county and 14 local municipalities. Specifically, the county alleges the school board:

The lawsuit also alleges that although the county, along with the cities of Cocoa and Titusville, started conflict-resolution proceedings to resolve the dispute over the school board’s Feb. 12 vote to close the schools, “the school board has continued to take actions implementing its decision to close the three schools.” An initial meeting related to the conflict-resolution process has been scheduled for April 11.

The Brevard County Commission on Tuesday unanimously authorized Knox to file the lawsuit.

In his 11-page lawsuit, filed in Brevard County Circuit Court, Knox also alleged that: