Bill could open doors for non-resident Kentucky students

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email

JACKSON, Ky (WYMT) - Changes may be on the way for the number of students enrolled in city versus county schools. That could happen if a pair of bills before the Kentucky legislature pass.

Jackson City School has a little less than 400 students and nearly half of those are non-resident. Superintendent Kyle Lively said as of right now, they work with outside school districts like Breathitt County and create non-resident agreements for particular students.

"We are very fortunate that their school board and our school board have an understanding of what school choice is about. They are really good to us and give us an opportunity to receive a certain amount of students and educate them," said Lively.

However, Lively said the process is just one more administrative hurdle schools face. He is hopeful that if these bills pass, students from across the state will benefit.

"As far as the school level looks at it, it would just be a relief not having to depend on good faith or good nature of other school boards to determine whether or not you are going to educate your student body," said Lively.

Jackson City School Principal Jim Yount said many administrators support this bill because it gives kids the opportunity to choose where they think they will have the best opportunity to thrive academically.

"We want to do what is best for the students and individually you cannot group all the kids into one bucket and say we are all the same," said Yount.

That is exactly what House Bill 503 is designed to do. It lifts restrictions on how many non-resident students can attend a given district. Both Lively and Principal Yount tell WYMT they support the measure.

"Your parents and the child decide what best for me, which educational avenue do I want to explore. This bill, or these bills allow students to make that choice early on in life," said Lively.

As of right now, the proposed bills are still in committee.

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