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Kentucky bill would merge county and independent schools, eliminating 121 districts

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 18:44:24-05

A Kentucky bill would, if passed, combine several local school districts in a statewide effort to merge independent and county school districts.

Boone County, Kenton County and Campbell County would become the the sole school district in each respective county, eliminating Covington Independent Schools, Newport Independent Schools, etc.

Grant, Harrison and Pendleton counties would form one school district; Bracken, Fleming, Mason, Nicholas and Robertson counties would form one school district; and Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Trimble and Owen would form one school district.

Currently, Kentucky has 176 school districts. HB 242 would cut that number to 55 school districts

School boards would also undergo a makeover under HB 242: Local school boards would be eliminated and replaced with a representative from each district to serve alongside one superintendent.

Bracken County Schools Superintendent Jeff Aulick expressed concern for the bill to the Maysville Ledger-Independent.

"You take away individual aspects of each district," Aulick said. "These larger school districts have no ownership within the district. You don't know your superintendent and you don't get to know your students like you do in the smaller districts. You're trying to save money, but are you really doing what's best for the kids?"

The bill was authored by Toby Herald (R-Beattyville). Read the full bill here.

Herald also authored HB 243, which would consolidate 100 of Kentucky's counties to make 34 new counties. This would cut Kentucky's 120 counties to 54, total. This would affect congressional districts, courts, taxes and more, according to the bill's summary.