LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s a proposal that some independent school districts say will do them in, and it's time to make your voices heard.
The bill is looking to abolish independent districts like Anchorage in Eastern Jefferson County, making it part of Jefferson County Public Schools.
House Bill 242 seeks to abolish local school boards and establish 55 new districts statewide.
Educators say it would hurt students in districts like Anchorage, but the lawmaker who wrote the bill says it's all about fixing the state's bottom line.
Anchorage Independent one of the best performing school districts in Kentucky.
“It’s a wonderful school district,” Superintendent Kelley Ransdell said. “We have a tremendous amount of support.”
Superintendent Kelley Ransdell of Anchorage Independent School Districts says that support pays off in the classroom where nearly 85 percent of students are identified as proficient or distinguished by the Kentucky Department of Education.
“It shows on test scores, but most importantly it shows really in their learning and in their whole child growth,” Ransdell said.
However, HB242 introduced by Rep. Toby Herald of Beattyville seeks to eliminate independent districts like Anchorage.
“It kind of bothers me that a high scale school would say that this is a better school over here,” Rep. Toby Herald said. “Our kids are smarter than this school over here. I take that personally.”
If HB242 is passed Anchorage would be forced to merge with JCPS, which reduces the number of districts throughout the state from 173 down to 55, driving down administrative costs along the way.
“We’ve got all of these county governments and all of these little school districts, and it’s just a no-brainer we’ve got to do something,” Rep. Herald said. “It’s got to be addressed. All schools that are funded by tax dollars should centralize their office.”
“This legislation would really destroy community schools across our state,” Ransdell said.
While Superintendent Ransdell says Anchorage enjoys a great partnership with JCPS she says this bill ultimately would not only hurt students in both districts but statewide.
“It really should be the number one priority of our legislature to adequately fund public schools in Kentucky,” Ransdell said.
“There’s folks in Eastern Kentucky that can’t afford their property tax, so that’s why I pushed it,” Rep. Herald said.
“This bill is a distraction from other issues,” Ransdell said . “It’s disheartening that the bill was filed at all.”
It's important to mention that HB242 was assigned to the House Education Committee on Friday.
Both sides are urging you to call your local legislators and let them know how you feel.