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OPS Board Members Faced With Possible Need for Rezoning School Boundaries

ops2 300OWENSBORO, KY (03/27/2013) – At its weekly board luncheon Tuesday afternoon, the Owensboro Public Schools Board of Education discussed what has been considered a topic of some controversy in the past: the possible need for a reevaluation of school zoning boundaries.

School Board Chairman Susan Eskridge told the board that she has gone through school re-zoning three different times in her 20 plus years as a member of the group. No matter how it's divided, she said, it always makes a lot of people very angry. She and others on the board stressed that the main objective of the zoning, however, isn't to make people angry.

With so many students in the school district, and with more applying to attend from out of district, discussion was raised regarding the start of a process to move the district's sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students into Owensboro Middle School North, and make Owensboro Middle School South a new district elementary school. Board member Cate Lauzon also requested that the board provide information that would show the cost to renovate the districts' alternative school, Seven Hills, for use as an elementary school.

"This is one of the best problems any school district could possibly have," said David Johnson, OPS Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel, Maintenance. "We have more students applying to attend our school from other districts because they see how good we are doing."

In other business, the board learned that the Health Department in Daviess County will not fund a health clinic at Cravens Elementary as previously thought. The board is looking at the possibility of hiring two health technicians for some district elementary schools to assist and work under school district nurses.

Various other financial decisions were discussed, most of which had to do with the sale of district equipment and the allocations of funds which technically were an honorarium that could have been paid to the superintendent. Superintendent Larry Vick recommended to the board that the funds be dedicated strictly for education.

"That money should be put into the foundation, and a policy should be put in place that ensures that every nickel we spend is going to directly be supporting instruction," Vick said.

This would mean that district funds would no longer be used for charitable donations, and all charity expenditures would instead come from the Foundation for Excellence, Owensboro Public Schools' foundation to raise, receive, manage, and distribute funds from private sources for the enrichment of educational programs in the Owensboro Public Schools.

The Owensboro Public Schools Board of Education held the weekly board meeting and luncheon at Hager Pre-school.

Alex Reid
SurfKY News
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics

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