The Bell County Board of Education put the wheels in motion for a new student contract with the Pineville Independent School District.
The Bell County board sent a proposal to the Pineville school district for a one-for-one non-resident student contract.
If approved, the district will be exchanging students simply on a one-to-one or an equal number basis.
For example, the one-to-one contract would be if Pineville had 250 Bell County students and Bell County had 50 of Pineville students, both schools would receive funding for 50 students, according to the Bell School District. However, no one would get the state funding for the remaining 200 students.
Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam said she gave Pineville five proposals for consideration. She also said she is willing to work with the Pineville district’s superintendent on a contract agreement.
If neither of the schools can come to a resolution, Gilliam said she and the Bell County Board of Education are willing to work with a mediator to move toward a resolution.
The previous contract between the two schools was an any-and-all contract. That contract allowed any student from either district to attend either Pineville Independent or schools within the Bell County School District. Each district would receive the money for the student who attended their respective schools.
“If a Pineville resident showed up at a Bell County School, we would get the funding for that student. If a Bell County resident showed up at Pineville, they would receive funding for it,” said Bell County’s Jeff Saylor explaining how the any-and-all contract has worked previously.
Gilliam stated the Bell district is losing about $1 million to Pineville under the any-and-all contract. She said money is needed for both districts, but noted her priority must be for the Bell County district.
Gilliam said the district needs all the money possible to upgrade schools throughout the district, including safety upgrades that are now on the minds of all students, parents and staff as a result of the Connecticut school shooting that killed 26 students and staff.
Gilliam said one of her main goals is to meet the needs of the students in both districts with the new contract.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.