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Governor Decides Not To Take Over Scott County Schools

By Paul Boger | Published 14 Feb 2014 07:30pm | comments
Governor Phil Bryant will appoint a new interim school board and superintendent in Scott County at the beginning of next month. MPB's Paul Boger reports the current members of the board are resigning as part of a deal to keep the state from taking over the district.
 
Parents of Scott County students are breathing a sigh of relief now that the superintendent and members of the local school board have been forced to resign their posts. Curtis Turner and Tracy Moore have children at a Scott County School, while Barney Finch is a former teacher.
 
"If it takes somebody from outside the school district to work those problems out, I agree with it." said Turner.
 
"I'm glad they're getting the superintendent out of there." said Moore.
 
"I know a lot of the school board members. There's some fine people, and I know the superintendent. I voted for him, and I did not agree with a lot of the things he did." said Finch.
 
The schools were in jeopardy of being placed under conservatorship after an audit found the district to be in violation of a number of  state and federal regulations. However, the Scott County School Board and Superintendent resigned to prevent that.
 
Senate education committee member Terry Burton represents Scott County. He says if the state had taken control of the schools, students would have lost a number of privileges including sports and other extra-curricular activities.
 
"the students that worked all year would have been forced to abort all of those activities as a result of an emergency takeover under board policy." said Burton. "We've been working hard to try to address the issue of a 'B' school, a high-performing school, facing a cut-off of all activities. 
 
Through a written statement, Department of Education Spokeswoman Patrice Guilfoyle says the State Board of Education only considered the conservatorship as a way to keep students safe.
 
"While we want to reiterate the serious nature of the district's violations of federal and state law, we want to applaud the state board of education for making a decision in the best interests of students of Scott County.
 
At the beginning of March, Governor Phil Bryant will appoint the first three members to the new Scott County School Board, who will in turn select two more members.
 

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