The City of Rockville has asked the Maryland Board of Education to investigate the Montgomery County school board, claiming the board violated its own guidelines and state law by its decision to close three Rockville elementary schools in 1982.
The closures leave a large section of the city without primary schools, said Rockville City Manager Larry Blake, who noted the board already has closed four other city elementary schools in the past three years.
"The basic problem is that it appears that decisions made by the board were arbitrary and capricious and made without a full understanding of the implications for Rockville students," Blake said, adding that the city is prepared to sue if the state board refuses to investigate.
Specifically, the city charged that the school board failed to consult Rockville officials on city school closings or give reasons for its decisions. The board also failed to consider Rockville as a separate unit within the county and did not provide solutions for the problems the closings will cause, the city charged.
Blake said that the closures eventually will force overcrowding in some high schools, making the schools less able to educate students properly.
The city is seeking a halt to all school closings pending an investigation by the state and a full explanation of all future decisions affecting city schools. The city also is requesting the right to have the city's Planning Commission review the school board's 15-year master plan for schools.