EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSKANAWHA COUNTY REDISTRICTING
from Eyewitness News Online
Kanawha Schools Will Not Redistrict South Hills, Will Fund Library Through June
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Mar. 21, 2013 5:10 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 22, 2013 2:07 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The Kanawha County Board of Education will not have to redraw school districts, at least for the South Hills area.
Board members voted at a meeting Thursday to keep things the way they are for some South Hills schools.
This means that students who attend schools in the South Hills area will stay where they are and will not be transferred to other schools in the district to help with an apparent overcrowding issue. Some parents had complained that schools were overcrowded. However, some of the board members felt that the issue had worked itself out.
Members did vote to move some students from Flinn Elementary to Sissonville Elementary, along with students from Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary to Grandview Elementary to deal with overcrowding issues at those schools.
If the problem resurfaces, board members said they'll take up the issue once again.
In other business, money for the Kanawha County Library was on many minds at the meeting and made for some, at times, heated debate
Board members voted to continue funding the library until the end of of June.
Just last month, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Kanawha schools did not have to support library services, a decision that cut the library’s budget by about 40 percent.
Board member Becky Jordon had asked that funding be extended until the end of the 2014 fiscal year, but was met with strong opposition from other members.
"I believe that the library system supports the education system and vice versa,” library supporter Karan Ireland said. “I just think that the two go hand-in-hand."
Library board members said without the money, branches will be forced to close, employees laid off and shorter hours will have to be imposed.
Citing a dwindling budget, Kanawha County Board of Education President Pete Thaw said the option to voluntarily continue funding just can't happen.
"We'd be glad to work with you, but we don't have the money," Thaw said.
The board said they wish to sit down with members of the library board and work toward a long-term solution. The idea of the public voting on a levy is also being considered.
Redistricting is set to be a big topic at the Kanawha County Board of Education Thursday night.
School board members plan to talk about the South Hills area. The issue is whether or not to redistrict some South Hills elementary schools because of overcrowding.
The proposed plan would send around 75 students from Overbrook to either Kenna or Holz elementary schools, adding two bus routes to accommodate the change.
The board will vote Thursday. They will also decide if they are going to move students from Flinn Elementary to Sissonville Elementary, along with students from Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary to Grandview Elementary to deal with overcrowding issues at those schools.
The board is also expected to discuss funding the Kanawha County Public Library.
Last month, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Kanawha schools did not have to support library services.
The decision impacted 40 percent of the library's budget.
Library officials have asked the board to continue funding the library, despite the court's ruling.
The board will also reveal the name of the elementary school located in the Edgewood area of Charleston's west side.
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