Commonwealth Journal

Columns

January 22, 2014

Pulaski County Schools need to re-think contract issue

When my family moved back to Pulaski County before my eighth-grade year, we lived in Pulaski County School District territory. 
However, I never attended a county school. I went to Science Hill School, and then on to Somerset High School.
It was a matter of choice. For one, we’d heard good things about Science Hill, and my parents had a close friend teaching there, someone they wanted to be my instructor. As far as Somerset, most of my close friends from Science Hill were going there and there was a perception at that time that it had a stronger academic reputation than the other high schools. (I have no way of knowing if that was a fair assessment or not, but it does seem that in today’s climate, all of the high schools are pretty evenly matched.)
I am completely happy with the decisions that were made, and wouldn’t have had it any other way. That is no knock on the county school district at all, but we made as a family decisions for me that we felt were for the best, and in hindsight, we were right.
That’s why I have such difficulty digesting the situation going on now between our local school systems, and Pulaski County’s decision to put the kibosh on additional students in their territory being allowed to attend either Science Hill or Somerset.
I know the county has its reasons. I understand them.
But they’re just wrong. The decision is wrong.
For years now, the county has maintained “non-resident pupil” contracts with the other public school districts in the area. A certain number of students each year were allowed to go to Somerset, a certain number to Science Hill. There were waiting lists for students hoping to be enrolled at either of the two smaller districts even though they actually lived outside the set boundaries of either one.

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