Hearing Officer Recommends 750 Students for Upcoming School Year

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- In the latest hearing between the Warren County School System and Bowling Green Independent Schools many arguments and claims were the same. Another thing that stayed the same was the man presiding over the case, Hearing Officer Mike Wilson. So it's no surprise, when both districts received his recommendation Tuesday, some things looked familiar.

Both the Warren County and Bowling Green City Schools received the proposed fate of their non-resident dispute future by mail Tuesday. The proposal looked very similar to the decision handed down last year, in one area specifically. The number of non-resident students for the next school year would remain at 750.

"He seems to be of the opinion that the system has worked well for a number of years and many in the community have come to depend upon this agreement between the two school districts. He's recommended that we continue operating in that way," said Bowling Green Independent Schools Superintendent, Joe Tinius.

Warren County Schools said after reviewing the recommendation they can't help but feel disappointed.

"We are not ready to enter an agreement with the (Bowling Green) Independent School District. Simply because, we want it to be fair and equitable, and also transparent for all students. That's not something we feel we've reached at this time," said Warren County Schools Public Information Officer, Morgan Watson.

This decision is really only a recommendation by Hearing Officer Mike Wilson. Each side has 15 days to file exceptions to the proposal before the Commissioner of Education has a chance to make a final ruling.

"It's not final yet. This is obviously the way Mr. Wilson saw things. We're hopeful that Commissioner (Terry) Holiday will see things a little bit differently," added Watson.

The recommendation included many observations, but it didn't suggest any guideline or deadlines for future negotiation. That's something the Commissioner may decide.

"We won't know until we get a ruling from the Commissioner (of Education) if there will be efforts to try and continue and negotiate and mediate this process," commented Tinius.

Among the finding's in Wilson's 40 page report, were the opinions that there's no evidence to suggest the non-resident process that Bowling Green uses is unfair. Wilson also stated that a random draw wouldn't accomplish any educational process.

Click the link on the side to see the full report.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Bowling Green Independent Schools would be allowed to enroll 750 students or less from the county.

This is according to Hearing Officer Mike Wilson's recommendation.

The city schools and Warren County Schools have been at odds for more than a year now regarding the non-resident student cap.

There has already been one unsuccessful hearing last year and also unsuccessful mediation earlier this year.

Both sides are allowed to file exceptions to the hearing officer's recommendation within the coming days.

These students will be included in Bowling Green's Average Daily Attendance.

We will have more from both sides later on WBKO's media platforms.

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