Citak said that since the last meeting, he’d heard from numerous individuals on both sides of the issue.
“I am very comfortable that this works out a very nice compromise, in the sense that it doesn’t disrupt students in our neighboring district, yet it begins to allow us as our district to begin to get the kids back in our system that we need,” Citak said. “... It gives time for me and the rest of us to digest this matter, and next year when this contract comes up, I think there will be a lot more information (from which) we can make a very sound decision. I think this is an excellent way to get started, and I appreciate all the work that’s gone into this.”
Wilds told the Commonwealth Journal that raising enrollment numbers is important to the Pulaski County School District because they had a decrease in enrollment of about 60 kids in November of 2011, and the next year that number rebounded up about 30, but still not up to 2010 levels. This means enrollment is “flat” and officials don’t wish to see it decline further.
“We’ve always grown up until this point,” she said. “The numbers are an issue.”
As far as why only the contract with Science Hill has been amended — and not a similar non-resident pupil contract with the Somerset Independent School System, which remained unchanged this year — Wilds said that Pulaski looked at percentages.
“About 34 percent of (Science Hill’s) enrollment is our kids, whereas Somerset only has about 15 percent of their enrollment (being) our kids,” said Wilds. “So one reason was to just bring the percentage of their enrollment down a little bit to be more equitable with Somerset.”
Another factor could be the accuracy with which Science Hill has reported its numbers. In the packet of information provided to the board and media at Wednesday’s meeting, there is a letter sent from Pulaski Superintendent Steve Butcher to Science Hill Superintendent Rick Walker, dated April 9, 2012, that says, “It has come to my attention that the Science Hill Independent School District has not been placing all Pulaski County School System resident students on the non-resident pupil list in accordance with the terms of the Board approved contract.”