School Board President Pat Gallagher said that trustees would consider the petition, but he added that it is the board’s job to consider all residents’ opinions. He said that it is clear from school board meetings that many parents are opposed to closing East School and restructuring, but the opinions of residents who are not involved with the schools must be considered as well.
“The idea behind the forum was to have a community-based meeting, versus a school-based meeting,” Gallagher said. “I’m hoping that the larger community comes out and speaks their mind and expresses their opinion.”
He added that he believes the Long Beach School District has been one of the most transparent districts on Long Island when it comes to this issue, and that many other districts make decisions with very little input from the community.
“We’ve been upfront about the issue from day one,” Gallagher said. “I think the best thing that could come out of this issue is it could be settled. That we could come to closure and say, ‘OK, we’re going to do A or B or C,’ or whatever it turns out to be. We need to have closure so we can move on to other issues.”