New bill would merge local school systems

February 4, 2018

A controversial new bill was proposed last week in the Kentucky House of Representatives that proposes combining school districts across Kentucky. The new bill would have Knox and Clay County, as well as Barbourville Independent School districts merge into one of 55 new districts across the state.

House Bill 242, sponsored by 91st District Rep. Gary “Toby” Herald, whose region includes Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Owlsey and part of Madison County, proposes the merger of the state’s 173 districts into 55 new districts. The plan would call for tighter controls from the State Board of Education.

“This needs to be on a case by case basis and not an action that is the result of state legislation,” said Frank Shelton, Director of Communication and System Governance for Knox County Public Schools. “Regardless of whether a student is in an independent or county system, there are costs involved in providing instructional and non-instructional services to that student.”

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