Thursday, October 15, 2009

Save Small Schools

It's been said that there is strength in numbers. For the families of children in the Chaneysville-Cove Elementary School in the tiny rural community of Chaneysville, Pennsylvania, the term "strength in numbers" has taken on a brand new meaning.

On February 15, 2007, the Board of Directors of the Everett Area School District voted to close the small, yet well-respected Chaneysville-Cove school leaving the children in our rural farming community without a school and facing a very long and often dangerous bus ride to the Everett Elementary School, nearly 30 miles away.

But instead of giving in, the community banded together to form a group to fight the closing of the much-loved heart of the Chaneysville and Beans Cove areas. Our group members and supporters come from all areas of Bedford County with many families having roots dating back 300 years.

The group, Save Small Schools, a 501(c)4 organization, hired a Pittsburgh, PA-based attorney and took action. A lawsuit was filed in March of 2007 against the Everett Area School District and it's Board of Directors.

What happened next would make history for not only the close-knit rural community but for the state of Pennsylvania!

We Won!!! The Bedford County Trial Court ruled in favor of Save Small Schools!!! Our victory made Pennsylvania legal history as the first group to challenge a school board on a safety issue...and WIN!

UPDATE: The district took SSS to Harrisburg and two weeks before school was to open the ruling was overturned. Now our children are bused to Everett NOT OVER the mountain... but around it.

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