Superintendents Discuss What's Next After Warren County Rejects Bowling Green City Schools Proposal

By: Melissa Warren Email
By: Melissa Warren Email

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- A decision made by the Warren County School Board last night could mean another hearing for the city and county schools to settle the on-going dispute of a non-resident agreement between the two.

The Bowling Green School Board's most recent proposal recommended the reduction of ten non-resident students per year for ten years. That followed Warren County's recommendation of fifty over ten years, and last night the county decided to reject that proposal and appeal to the Kentucky Commissioner of Education.

"The board wasn't comfortable entering into an agreement in which 2.5 million dollars continues to follow non-resident students," said Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton.

The appeal was something Bowling Green's superintendent hoped wouldn't be needed.

"It was a bit dissapointing. I think it's moreso unfortunate for our community that we're going to continue... not continue, but return down down the path that we followed last spring and into the summer. I was in hopes with our latest proposal that we could move forward and try to come to a resolution between the two school boards as opposed to involving the commissioner again," said Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent Joe Tinius.

The county had the option of accepting the offer, sending back a counter-proposal, or appealing. Clayton says timing played a large part in the decision to appeal.

"We were at a point where a decision really needed to be made, so there was really not a great opportunity to go back and forth with further negotiations. We began negotiations in September and went through a mediation process a few weeks ago," said Clayton.

Last year, the hearing process took months before a decision was handed down from the the commissioner.

"We're now at a point in time in which both school boards need to plan to prepare for the 2014-15 school year, but more importantly members of our community need to plan," said Clayton.

Clayton says aside from the number of students, the board had issue with the appication process proposed, and rather than a first-come-first-serve application, the county wanted a random draw.

"The statement I've seen from Mr. Clayton indicates they're concerned about the transparency and basically what that says to me is that they're some lack of trust in whether or not we will process those applications in the appropriate manner even though they will come in dated and notorized. That's a bit dissapointing as well," said Tinius.

Clayton says his board felt a random draw was the most equitable process.

Tinius says he has not seen the appeal yet, but if the city school board receives it by their board meeting next Wednesday, it's likely they will add to the agenda the opportunity to enter closed session and discuss the options of how to respond.

For more on Warren County's decision, see the related link.

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