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Support growing for a separate school district in Jacksonville

For the last 30 years, residents in Jacksonville and North Pulaski County have recognized a need to separate from the Pulaski County Special School District and create their own.
JACKSONVILLE, AR – For the last 30 years, residents in Jacksonville and North Pulaski County have recognized a need to separate from the Pulaski County Special School District and create their own.

Tuesday, a meeting at the Jacksonville Community Center was convened by Education Corps to go over the details for creating that stand-alone school district.

“Our community needs to trust that our tax dollars will stay in this community and won’t be spent elsewhere or misused,” says Daniel Gray, spokesperson for Education Corps.

City of Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher also supports the move. “We’re very concerned about education and there is a need. Pulaski County is just way too big to take care of its 17,000 students.”

Many of the concerns raised about PCSSD involve failing facilities, aging schools, and enrollment numbers.

“I think in the past we've been left behind with some decisions that were made where money was to be spent and our kids have suffered," said John Davis.

Even PCSSD superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess says a split is in the best interest of everyone involved. "I support their separation. I think it's a wise decision in terms of the benefit of the students in that area. I also think it would benefit the students in the remaining PCSSD."

Supporters of a separate district are excited to be so close to making their goal happen.

“We know our city will grow tremendously. Once we get our own district we want to take care of our children and make sure they get all the requirements needed to be successful," said James Bolden.

The goal of Education Corps is to have a new school district for the 2014-15 school year. It would require approval by a federal court and a vote of people living within the boundaries of the proposed district.
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