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Story Archives: School officials reject report of split moves
|School officials reject report of split moves|
Published reports of splitting Franklin Parish High School into three schools have been rejected as "premature" and without basis by school officials.
Franklin Parish School Board President Eddie Ray Bryan called reports of dividing the high school, "all talk."
"There have been no 'moves'," toward such action said Superintendent Lanny Johnson.
"A board member has asked some questions, but there has been no board discussion and things have gotten way out of hand," Bryan said Tuesday morning. He was responding to reports in a regional newspaper which said there was a recent, "move in Franklin Parish to divide the single high school into three smaller schools" for racial reasons.
In fact, the school board operates on a parliamentary process which requires approval of agenda items before regularly scheduled official meetings. The next agenda meeting is Dec. 1, when the board decides the issues it will officially address on Dec. 8.
Although no formal talks have been held, Bryan said "but we probably will, especially now".
"So far, this has been nothing more than talk," Johnson observed.
"Right now there are a lot more questions than answers," Bryan said.
"Many things have to be looked at. Facilities, costs, transportation, personnel. We're having trouble hiring at one school, how do we staff three? Talk about staffing, especially salaries, that's where most of our money goes," he added.
Bryan pointed out the school board is responsible for operation of the parish system.
"Our job is to educate students," he said. "And we have to do it with what we have."
"We have to make decisions as a board, the whole board." Bryan added.
Bryan acknowledged there is, "a lot of hard feelings out there when you go from three high schools to two to one," because of the long consolidation process Franklin Parish has experienced.
Crowville was the last school adsorbed into a single high school in 2004.
The school system is under desegregation orders and any changes which affect the school populations are subject to U. S. Justice Department oversight.
"Just getting it by the Justice Department would be a major problem," said Johnson of the prospect that the board officially considered making changes.
Johnson repeated his concern for curriculum options for students..
"Some students might not get into the TOPS program because they can't get certain courses," he said. TOPS is a state program which rewards students with college costs.
In the Tuesday newspaper report, Johnson also pointed out additional problems with splitting the current high school into three units: infusing younger students into high schools, for example.
Board member Ronnie Hatton was quoted by the publication as saying, "There are so many pluses to smaller schools versus one high school."
"The cart is definitely before the horse on this," Bryan said, "this is a long way from coming about.
The Dec. 1 school board meeting to decide meeting topics for the next week will begin at 5 p.m. in the school board's Winnsboro office.