Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 25, 2014

Furor continues over schools’ non-resident contract

Randolph: Litigation not Somerset’s ‘first choice’


Somerset —

Randolph was unable to speculate as to whether or not it was likely that the board would opt to make the appeal.
Earlier this month, the Science Hill Board of Education voted to draft their own contract to send back to Pulaski County. This contract would propose having Pulaski and Science Hill each allowing “any and all” students living within their district’s boundaries be able to enroll at the other if they wish, rather than a set number for each district.
Pulaski County Superintendent Steve Butcher said that he had not yet received this contract from Science Hill.
County school officials took issue with the way their contract was presented at the Science Hill meeting (and with Somerset’s meeting that same week to reject the Pulaski contract) however, and Assistant Superintendent Sonya Wilds provided information to the Commonwealth Journal in an attempt to make a “clarification” on certain points.
At one point in the February Science Hill meeting, Superintendent Rick Walker said, “It’s always been that they get any and all of ours and we got a set number of theirs,” in reference to previous contracts with Pulaski County.
However, that isn’t exactly the case, said Wilds.
“It is incorrect to state that we drew up a contract that allows any and all students from either the city or Science Hill to attend the county schools if they choose,” said Wilds. “Students can only attend a nonresident district under the limitations as set by the respective boards. Somerset and Science Hill issue contracts to us each year for their students to attend our schools. The independent school districts may (and do) determine any numbers or limitations as they choose.”
The contract Pulaski had drawn up in the past simply stipulated that the county was entitled to all funding (such as state SEEK money — a school district gets close to $4,000 for each student enrolled) generated by any students attending in the county but residing outside its boundaries, without limitations to the funding.

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