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Jacksonville schools still part of PCSSD

Schools in Jacksonville will stay in the Pulaski County Special School District, PCSSD, for now. A decision made by the PCSSD at Tuesday’s meeting tabled any discussion on moving forward with a district split.
Schools in Jacksonville will stay in the Pulaski County Special School District, PCSSD, for now.  A decision made by the PCSSD at Tuesday’s meeting tabled any discussion on moving forward with a district split.

This has been a battle by Jacksonville schools for years. Emotions have been running high ever since the topic of branching off into its own district was first tabled just over a year ago, and advocates for the split are getting impatient.

"We want to go forward the right way. Make things easier for the district - the students - for you all," said Patrick Wilson with the Jacksonville Education Association.

He adds he realizes it will be a slow process, but advocates for the split just want to get the ball rolling.

However, board members are not budging. They say when the split between PCSSD and Jacksonville schools was first sent into motion two years ago, they never promised it would be a speedy process.

Now, with high-profile fiscal problems, pending court dates with the teachers union and not even being able to afford enough supplies for teachers and students, board members say the timing is way off.

"Our list grows everyday,” said Board Member Sandra Sawyer. “Your timing is off."

All but two board members halted the process again, saying the district has too many other things to focus on right now.

"We need to be making sure we stay out of fiscal distress," said PCSSD Board Member Gwen Williams.

Board members also say they want to give new Superintendent Doctor Charles Hopson the chance to improve Jacksonville schools.

They say, if given a little more time, he could change the minds of those who want to split from Pulaski County Special School District.

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