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Bell County Superintendent non-resident rejection response

From WRIL

Earlier this week the Bell County School Board made the decision to reject the Pineville School Board non-resident contract and came up with an alternate proposal.


We have heard from the Pineville School Board and covered the response in a previous report, now Bell County School Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam has sent us her reply to our email requesting the reasons for the rejection.


It reads as follows:

"Brian,

Thank you for your interest in public education. I appreciate the coverage you have given our students and our schools over the last 7 years when they brought home state and national honors and awards.


We have wonderful students and dedicated employees who have moved our district to rank among the top academic performing districts in the state of Kentucky. Our vast array of sports programs, clubs, and various organizations provide our students enrichment opportunities beyond the instructional day.


Unfortunately, for the last fifteen years the ‘War on Coal’ has forced many of our Bell County families to leave this area to find work. Declining enrollment has forced us to reduce the number of personnel our district employs.


Each child that leaves our district reduces our revenue by $9,184.00. Over the past seven years we have been forced to eliminate over 100 positions in our school district. This has been a painful reduction in our work force affecting both families and student services. I don’t want to ever have to lay off another employee or eliminate programs and services to our students.


The State of Kentucky has established school boundaries for each of the 173 school districts. Districts are expected to serve the students within their individual school boundaries. Not one penny will be lost to Bell County if the Pineville School District serves the students who reside within their district boundary and the Bell County School District serves the students who reside within our district boundary.


And, to accommodate parents who want to send their child to a district in which they do not reside, we can exchange student contracts on a one for one basis without either district losing a penny. We estimate we have been allowing Pineville to receive $2,000,000.00 to $3,000,000.00 of revenue every year that should have been coming into the Bell County School District. I have addressed this issue three times in my career.


I have spent 42 years trying to provide the BEST of everything for our Bell County students and our employees. Once again, I am trying to do what is best for the students, parents and employees I serve by bringing home the revenue that belongs to the Bell County School District and, and as you have seen throughout my 42 years, that revenue will be rolled out to our students in terms of smaller class size, new busses, computers, facility upgrades, school safety officers, textbooks, new science and reading programs, and expanded student support services. I simply want our dollars invested in our students.


Sincerely,

Yvonne Gilliam"


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