Hoopeston school district OKs property purchase months after closing school
Hoopeston Area School District #11 closed an elementary school to save money earlier this year but then approved the purchase of a $112,000 property on Aug. 22, according to the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW).
The ECW said the district closed Honeywell Elementary School to save approximately $25,000 per year before purchasing property worth more than four times that amount. The property in question is a portion of a farm located west of the school.
The ECW also said the school board posted a notice in advance of a special meeting to discuss the purchase that said the meeting would go directly into executive session. The group alleged that the board did not post the meeting agenda on the district’s website, which it does for regular meetings, and that the notice mentioned only discussion of the land purchase.
The board did post a meeting agenda at the meeting place, fulfilling Open Meetings Act requirements, nor did the agenda list the purchase as an action item to vote on, according to the ECW.
“While what happened at the meeting did not necessarily violated the Open Meetings Act, it certainly creates the appearance that the school board was not entirely forthcoming with informing the public of the actions it would vote on at the special meeting,” ECW co-founder John Kraft wrote in the group’s report.