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Parents confront Scott Co. school board during intense meeting

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

Tensions flared inside the Scott County School Board Meeting, as parents demanded for a second high school. A move that the School Board says likely won't happen for some time.

"This has to deal with the high school, this has to deal with these students," stated one parent over a School Board Chairperson during the open discussion.

The room was down to standing room only, as more than a hundred people packed in to hear the discussion. Many of the parents openly stated that Scott County High School is overcrowded and it's affecting the education.

"I don't feel that every child in this county, especially in the ninth through twelfth grade, have the type of education they deserve," said Tiffany Lance, a mother of two high school students, who had much to say to the school board members.

She wasn't alone in her thoughts, many others clapped and supported her pleas.

"It's a mess, it's a complete mess," described Joni McCallahan, a bus driver for the district, who says she sees the issue daily.

"You'll get knocked down. I mean knocked down, and run over," McCallahan said of the foot traffic inside the school.

At one point, the Scott County High School principal, in attendance, was asked what the student-to-locker ratio is in the school. The principal said not every student chooses to take a locker, but if everyone was assigned a spot, they would not have enough for each student.

A big reason the parents are upset with the board, is the district has already approved the building of their ninth elementary school.

"We need to make sure we're spending the money where it needs to be spent, and at this point I really don't think we're doing that," stated Lance.

"The numbers do not add up to why we would build an elementary school and not address the overcrowding situation [at the high school]," said Rick Thompson who spoke on behalf of the group, "Too Big to Succeed," a group pushing for a second high school.

"I would love nothing more than a new high school and a new elementary school, because we need them both," reassured Superintendent Patricia Putty.

The issue that the board and Superintendent Putty expressed to the gathered crowd, is there is not enough money to make it all happen.

"At this moment, I'm being honest, we can't afford it," plainly stated Superintendent Putty, who added that to create enough funds, the county would need to increase taxes by 11-cents to create a plan for the high school.

Something several parents said they would support. As one mother told the board, she'd much rather pay more taxes than a private school's tuition, something she said she was considering as long as overcrowding is an issue.

The board says they cannot stop the elementary project because land has already been broken.


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