Parents sue over school closing

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - A judge has said he will rule by the end of the month on whether Bloomfield Hills Public Schools must continue to operate Pine Lake School, according to The Oakland Press.

Parents and nearby property owners sued the district over its decision in February to close the elementary school, The Press reported. Judge Michael Warren sided with parents in ruling that the closing violated a deed restriction placed on the property when it was donated to the district in 1955, according to the report. Warren said that the school board's action violated a charitable trust that requires the property be used to educate Bloomfield Hills students; however, he did not specify a remedy, The Press reported.

Parents want the district to open the school to Bloomfield Hills students for the coming school year, according to The Press, but the matter is complicated by a lease that Bloomfield Hills has signed with the Waterford School District allowing Waterford to use the school for special education programs.

A school district attorney raised the possibility of using the building for both Waterford and Bloomfield Hills students, The Press reported, but the judge did not rule on that issue.

Attorneys said that if the court prevents Waterford from using the building, then the lease between the districts allows for Waterford students to use a different Bloomfield Hills school, according to The Press.

The Oakland Press, "No decision yet on fate of Pine Lake School property," Aug. 13, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Schools for sale," Aug. 15, 2007