Education

Father sues Fayette County schools, seeking to have daughter transferred

Fayette County Public Schools central offices at 701 East Main Street, Lexington.
Fayette County Public Schools central offices at 701 East Main Street, Lexington. Herald-Leader

A Lexington father has filed a lawsuit against Fayette County Public Schools over which school his daughter is assigned to for kindergarten.

Anthony Wilson filed the lawsuit in December. It has been moved from Fayette Circuit Court to U.S. District Court.

In limited circumstances, Fayette County students may ask to attend a school other than the main one serving their neighborhood.

Students given priority include children of school-level employees, walkers living within one mile, fifth-graders desiring to finish at their same school, siblings, and students anticipating a family move before Oct. 31 of a given school year.

Wilson said in an interview that he asked that his daughter be able to attend Veterans Park Elementary instead of Southern Elementary because it would be only about a mile for her to walk to Veterans Park.

He is asking the court to review the district's decision that she is not eligible for an out-of-area transfer.

Wilson is also concerned about the methodology the district used to make its decision.

"We timely filed an appeal," he said.

For the 2013-14 school year, Veterans Park Elementary was designated as a "distinguished, progressing" school in the state's testing system. For that year, Southern was designated as a "needs improvement" school and a "focus" school because of problems with an achievement gap between minority, low income and disabled students and others.

Wilson said his daughter is recovering from kidney cancer and was learning in the district's homebound program until a few weeks ago.

Robert Chenoweth, an attorney for the Fayette County school district, said last week that the matter was pending in federal court.

Chenoweth said he couldn't discuss the merits of the case. He said the district had asked in court for more information on Wilson's concerns and position.

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