The Harlan Independent School Board recently rejected the latest proposal by the Harlan County School Board when it comes to contracts.
County leaders want a one to one ratio contract which would allow an even number of county students to go to the city schools and vise-versa.
For many Harlan Independent students... coming to this district is a choice...and educators say they want to keep it that way.
"That decision should be made by family not by someone outside trying to make the decision for them," said David Johnson, Harlan Independent Schools Superintendent.
Leaders say that's why the board voted to reject Harlan County's latest proposal.
"I'm kind of surprised that they did reject it," said Mike Howard, with Harlan County Schools.
Harlan County educators say they want Harlan County students in Harlan County Schools.
"We want to offer students as much as possible... when you have to cut programs... that's taking away from what you can offer students," said Howard.
County educators say for every county student that goes to the city schools... the district loses money...and that hurts the bottom line.
There are about 350 county students that attend the city schools... for each child the district gets about five thousand dollars... That's about 1.7 million dollars... but independent school leaders say it's not all about money.
"That's not really what it is about... I don't think you can reduce it down to money because you are talking about people's lives and where they get their education... that's one of the most important decisions a family can make.
County educators say they would like to grandfather in students to accommodate families.
Both districts are waiting on a response from the commissioner of education Terry Holliday.
The commissioner has a few months before he must respond.