At their regular meeting Monday night, the Warren County school board voted to appeal, for the fourth time, a ruling by the Kentucky Board of Education concerning the on-going non-resident student dispute with the Bowling Green school district.
In a press release sent out after the meeting, Superintendent Rob Clayton said the vote was really a technicality. He said it doesn't necessarily mean any more legal action will be taken just yet but it gives them that option should upcoming mandated mediation between the two school boards fail.
Warren County Public Schools filed a brief with the Kentucky Board of Education Friday formally appealing Commissioner Terry Holliday's final Order in the on-going dispute over non-resident students.
The state board will hear arguments October 7 in Frankfort from attorneys for both the county and city school districts.
There have already been two rulings against the county school system in its fight to prevent as many as 750 students from being allowed to attend city schools. In June, county schools' attorney Jacinta Porter filed an 80 page document of exceptions against hearing officer Mike Wilson's recommendation favoring the city district that was essentially the same ruling he made a year ago.
Last month's ruling in the ongoing dispute between the county and Bowling Green city schools over non-resident students is now being challenged in court. County schools' attorney Jacinta Porter Monday filed an 80 page document of exceptions to hearing officer Mike Wilson's recommendation that up to 750 Warren County students be allowed to attend city schools in the coming school year.
Wilson's recommendation last month was the same one he made a year ago and that was approved by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. It was seen as a win for the city school system. The county wanted the number of non-resident students limited to just siblings of current students.
In a prepared statement, Warren County Superintendent Rob Clayton said, "We remain confident that the Commissioner will appropriately modify Mr. Wilson's recommendation to ensure the process is transparent, fair and equitable. In addition, we anticipate that the Commissioner's ruling will minimize the negative financial impact of the recommendation."
A hearing officer in the non-resident student dispute between the two school districts recommended Tuesday that the city schools continue to be permitted to enroll 750 county students for the next school year. Those students have to apply to city schools to be accepted and pay a tuition.
“The WCPS Board is committed to doing what is fair and equitable for all kids and this belief remains steadfast," Warren County Superintendent Rob Clayton said in a news release. "Our Board is not in position to enter into a nonresident contract unless the agreement is transparent, fair and equitable for all students and the Hearing Officer’s recommendation is in stark contrast to this position."
Hearing officer Mike Wilson's recommendation now goes to Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday for his final ruling, which could still be appealed to the Kentucky State Board of Education.
Wilson's recommendation on the number of county students accepted was virtually identical to a decision he handed down last year. Among the findings in the 40 page report were the opinions that there's no evidence to suggest the non-resident process that Bowling Green uses is unfair. The recommendation did not suggest any guideline or deadlines for future negotiations.
The two school districts have been at odds for more than a year regarding the non-resident student cap.
Superintendent Tim Murley announced his retirement, effective February 28th, at Monday night's meeting of the Warren County school board.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports Murley cited personal reasons for stepping down saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. He's been with the district for more than 30 years.
Board President Kerry Young said after the meeting that the school board will name an interim superintendent and will decide whether to form a search committee or to hire a company to conduct a superintendent search.
Warren County's newest school is named in honor of career educator and long-serving state representative former Speaker of the House Jody Richards. The $12 million school on Elrod Road in south Warren County features state of the art energy efficient systems and a healthy cafeteria kitchen with no deep fried food.