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School board hears alternatives to redistricting proposal

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By Kenny Colston

With one month until the school board votes on new redistricting boundaries for elementary, middle and high schools, two alternative proposals have been added to the mix.

Both of the new proposals are variants of the original final proposal, which took the northeast portion of the county and redistricted it to the Buckner campus of schools. The area is currently sent to the North campus of schools.

After getting feedback, the two alternative proposals would shift some of that area back to North for middle and high schools, while keeping other parts at the Buckner campuses of Oldham County middle and high.

The second option would keep an area around U.S. 42 to U.S. 524E all the way up to the Ohio River with the North campus for the older grade levels. Elementary students would still travel to Buckner Elementary.

The third option affects only subdivisions around Smith Lane, keeping that area in the North feeder zone for secondary levels.

After showing how the proposals would have little effect on capacity at each of the schools, the recommendation from the school district was to adopt the final proposal, not the alternatives, when the board votes next month. The district would then allow district transfers back to the North campus schools.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, several parents from those Smith Lane subdivisions of Oldham Hills and Sycamore Run pleaded with the school board to adopt one of the alternatives, pointing to capacity levels at the Buckner campus schools and their roots at the North campus.

“Why should my kid go to a school over capacity when they can stay at one under capacity and get more attention?” Heather Floyd, an Oldham Hills resident, said.

Other residents in those subdivisions had previously submitted a petition to the school board to move their area to the Buckner campus as well, residents told The Oldham Era.

Superintendent Will Wells said it would be nice to balance all the schools evenly, but population spread doesn’t allow for it. Plus, the alternative options don’t achieve balance or bring the other schools under capacity, he said.

“It would be nice if we could balance our high schools,” Wells said. “But if you’re a kid within sight distance of a school it makes no sense to bus you across the county.”

The school board will vote on the new redistricting maps at their November meeting.

Board approves funding resolution

The school board also approved a resolution Monday night criticizing the state legislature for falling behind in school funding.

The resolution said lawmakers have “broken their pledge to Kentucky’s students, failing to fund the goal of Unbridled Learning,” and challenged them to increase state funding during the 2014 budget session.

It also blamed state lawmakers for layoffs, decreased budgets and the recent rise in property taxes the school board passed.

The resolution was unanimously passed 4-0.

E-mail us about this story at news@oldhamera.com.