Ky. Voices: Clark County must not set up students to fail

June 17, 2013 

In response to the June 3 commentary regarding the Clark County School Facilities Plan: I do not believe that state education officials Kay Kennedy or Robert Tarvin used intimidation or bullying to force acceptance of the facilities plan.

Their remarks were not condescending. They addressed the board members and the citizens of Clark County in a professional manner, addressed the questions in a professional manner and did not talk down to anyone.

Kennedy stated that the state had given the school money that had to be used for Category 5 schools. We were told that parts of the grant money had been used, the school district had signed a contract and the process must be followed.

The public was also informed that this facility plan had gone through the court and was upheld. The board voted by a 3-2 margin not to follow the plan.

Kennedy told the board that there would be repercussions from this decision, such as an end to state funding to the district. The board in a later meeting reversed its decision.

There are many parents who believe we should merge the middle schools because it will give all our children the opportunity to be 100 percent college-ready by creating a successful and fair learning environment.

Only one middle school will be moving into the high school with about 532 students while parts are renovated in the 2013-14 school year. The other middle school would not merge until the 2014-15 school year due to school renovation. We have a high school with about 1,400 students. There are issues but usually they are resolved.

I do not believe that going from two schools to a renovated George Rogers Clark Middle School would be much of an issue for the children. Parents have a tendency to believe it is all about them and their children and not look at what's best for all our children in the school system.

The board voted to only spend $8.4 million rather than the $18.4 million that was for the renovation of George Rogers Clark Middle School. One board member stated that they would only spend the $8.4 million in case the merger fails.

I believe that statement told the students that we are not committed and we have set them up to fail. This sends a message that the board is going to do very little to make the merger work.

No one likes change, especially if it affects them; but we need to think outside the box. This is about all of our children and grandchildren, and it is not about what's best for an individual. We know that we have children who are not at the learning level they need to be in order to succeed.

Let's show that we care for all of them and are willing to create an equitable learning environment. Do we believe that?


At issue: June 3 commentary by Terri L. Knight, "New Clark County schools plan wrong for students"

William Baker of Winchester has six grandchildren in Clark County schools.

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