Written by Julian Leach
The nonprofit filed a lawsuit against the Nelson County Board of Education, its head, and board members against a modified plan of the county facility that ultimately involves moving the county’s high school students to high school campuses.
Nelson County citizens advocating for responsible education, along with several Nelson County citizens, filed a lawsuit in Nelson County Court on Tuesday. According to the press release, they are challenging the revised plan of the district facility, approved by the local education department.
“We have filed this lawsuit to challenge its validity and overturn a draft district facility plan with amendments recently approved by the Nelson County Board of Education, which, among other things, abolishes Bloomfield High School and Old Kentucky Home High School and relocates all middle school children. schools in Bardstown County High School buildings, ”said Jack C., a retired district court judge and president of NCCARE.
Vanessa Hearst, one of the parents who decided to remove two of her three children from the public school district, explained why other parents are struggling with the changes.
“They really got the information, and a lot of people showed up because they were worried that the two high schools would be closed and all the high schools would merge into two high schools,” she said. “It’s a little disturbing that 12-year-olds are in the same building as 17- and 18-year-olds.”
The campus model reflected in the district facility plan will close Bloomfield High School and redirect Old Kentucky Home High School to a place for an alternative school program. Thomas Nelson and Nelson County High School will house students from the county’s high schools, including children in grades 6-8 from New Haven and Boston schools.
The Nelson County Board of Education approved the DFP project in December when it was sent to the Kentucky Board of Education. The Council of State unanimously approved the amended plan at its regular meeting on Wednesday, February 9, and referred to the fact that their goal is to ensure compliance with all the necessary rules, which they defined.
“We are not here to discuss or overturn the decisions of local councils; we are here to make sure this process has been followed, ”said KBE At-Large member Randy Poe.
According to a previous report by The Kentucky Standard, NCCARE was set up in November with six directors, most of whom spoke out against the merger in public meetings and online.
The purpose of the facility plan is to give the local government the right to carry out construction and reconstruction projects with limited funding. The district plan for the facility has been in place for four years before a new one is needed. The original Nelson County DFP was established in 2019, but in March 2021 the Board requested amendments and cited a significant increase in binding capacity as one reason for requesting amendments. The larger connection capacity allows the board to carry out more or larger capital projects.
Among the plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit are Bloomfield Mayor Chris Dugen, Bloomfield City Attorney Amanda Ditton, Daniel Greenwell, Debra Rich and Susan Santa Cruz Rogers, as well as NCCARE and C.
The plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit that the board did not follow proper procedures throughout the process, including the establishment of an amended DFP and a local planning committee, the group that develops the DFP.
The lawsuit also includes Amy Owens, chief financial officer of Nelson County Schools, as the defendant.
During a regular meeting in November, the local council voted for Superintendent Wes Bradley to enter into an agreement with Bowling Green English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley LLP on behalf of the council to represent them in any claims or lawsuits against the district. object plan.
A statement from Nelson County School of Law said they were confident the lawsuit would be resolved in favor of the Board of Education.
The Kentucky Board of Education approved the DFP with amendments
Bradley attended a KBE meeting held at a school for the blind in Kentucky on Feb. 9 to make a statement and answer questions. The State Council received 27 comments that sparked a discussion of the main issues raised by parents and community members who oppose the merger.
One of these concerns was the safety of younger students housed in the same building as high school students. Bradley was asked in particular how he would address parents ’concerns about student safety.
“As a professional, I don’t see a connection between student safety and school design. School security is a direct link to the culture in this building, the relationship in this building between professionals and students, and the ability to build community, ”Bradley said.
Bradley said, realizing that there is a difference in development between the ages, middle school students will attend high school classes until they have the opportunity to take top-level courses.
“Until the state allocates adequate funds to the relevant facilities in this state and everywhere, you will see more of what, unfortunately, the superintendent had to go through,” Poe said.
Editor’s note: LaRue County Herald news editor Josh Clivell contributed to this report.