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Board votes to close Paint Rock Valley school

It wasn't on the agenda Thursday morning, but the board ended up voting for the closure after a contentious debate.

Posted: May 17, 2018 10:10 AM

Paint Rock Valley School in Jackson County will close at the end of the school year, after a contentious debate at Thursday morning's county school board meeting.

The board voted 3-2 to close the school, even though the option wasn't originally on the board's agenda.

Potential renovations to the school's lunch room were on the agenda, including roof repairs, replacing a kitchen hood and installing new central heating and air. The total costs were estimated to be about $225,000.

But board member Angela Guess asked to reconsider a suggestion Superintendent Kevin Dukes made last year to close the school.

"I said I wasn't bringing it up, but my recommendation stoof because a year ago, when I made the recommendation, I felt that was what was best for the students of Paint Rock Valley," Dukes said after the meeting. "They weren't getting the same opportunities, in my opinion, as the rest of the students in Jackson County."

Board member Charles West called Dukes a liar and said he told the board and parents the money would be put into the school to fix it.

But Guess said Paint Rock Valley students are not getting the same opportunities as students at other schools, and they deserve a 21st center education. Guess also said enrollment at the school is down and she has been told by some parents that they want the school to close.

West said he was concerned about long bus rides for students if they school closes.

About 70 students will be affected by the closing, Dukes said. Those students will either go to Skyline or Woodville for school.
He said they will also work to place the affected teachers into other schools within the county.

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