Kentucky education commission makes decision on Bell, Pineville dispute

Published 3:07 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

The Kentucky Education Commissioner handed down his ruling on the non-resident student dispute that is ongoing between the Bell County and Pineville Independent School districts.

The ruling handed down from the commissioner goes in favor of a one-for-one exchange, with the stipulation that all students currently enrolled and their siblings are grandfathered in under the old agreement. Essentially, this would mean the one for one exchange would be implemented over a 12-year period instead of over four years.

The proposal set forth by the Bell County School Board is a one for one exchange of students with Pineville. This would mean that Pineville would be allowed to take an additional 150 students next school year, 100 students in 2020, an additional 50 students in 2021, and then a straight one for beginning with the 2022 school year.

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Pineville wanted to keep the current any and all agreement that allowed the free exchange of all students.

There are approximately 268 students currently attending Pineville Schools who live in the Bell County School District and there are approximately 70 students currently attending Bell County Schools who live in the Pineville School District.

Both the Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam and Pineville Superintendent Russell Thompson have declined commenting on the subject until the conclusion of special-called school board meetings set to take place on Tuesday.

The Bell County Board of Education has scheduled a special-called meeting for Tuesday at 2 p.m. with an executive session to discuss the ruling.

The Pineville Independent School Board has scheduled a special-called meeting Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Pineville High School with an executive session and to discuss the non-resident student contract appeal.

The Pineville Sun contributed to information in this story.