Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 12, 2014

Science Hill & Somerset schools reject contracts

County School Board wants to limit non-resident tradition in effort to preserve state funding


Somerset —

At last month’s Science Hill Board meeting, the vote to pass Pulaski County’s contract failed for lack of a motion. This time, the results were much different.
“It’s always been that they get any and all of ours and we got a set number of theirs,” said Walker at the meeting of previous contracts with the county, “and we took it ...”
At Somerset’s board of education meeting on Tuesday, the Pulaski County contract was rejected by unanimous vote. The city school district has not come up with an alternative as of yet, according to Somerset Superintendent Boyd Randolph.
“We’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback,” said Randolph after the meeting of local reaction to the contract issue between the school systems. “There seems to be a lot of support for choice in the community.”
Said school board chairperson Scott Gulock, “If it’s not broke ... why change it?”
Randolph told the Commonwealth Journal that the board didn’t want to send a message that it approved of limiting educational options to families.
“For years, we’ve provided an opportunity for those residents that reside in the county district that they are able to attend (Somerset schools) even though it’s a very limited 240 students,” said Randolph. (Though most years, non-resident enrollment has been maxed out, it was slightly less than 240 students this current school year, said Randolph.)
“If we were to have ratified (the county contract), it would have meant that those folks would not have had an option,” he added. “I’m speaking for the board, and I hope I’m not speaking incorrectly, that wasn’t a message they wanted to convey.”
In a written statement, the Somerset Independent School Board listed the reasons for rejected the county contract as including the following:

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