Jacksonville one step closer to having its own school district

JACKSONVILLE (KATV)--After several decades of fighting to get their own school district, the state Board of Education gives the green light to Jacksonville. However, it will be left up to the voters if a new district is created.

If voters approve this, Jacksonville would become its own school district, under the name the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District. This goal is something the Pulaski County Special School District has been helping to achieve.

In a unanimous vote, the state Board of Education approved this on Thursday.

"Jacksonville folks have wanted to have their own school district for a long time, so that they can be in control of their own operations of their districts," said Attorney Patrick Wilson, representing the Jacksonville Education Foundation and Education Core.

If approved, the newly created Jacksonville North Pulaski School District would acquire nearly 4,500 current PCSSD students, 10 schools and two abandoned buildings, which used to be elementary and middle schools.

"The facilities issue is huge, Jacksonville can with its own district do a lot better job of having good facilities for kids to go to school," said Wilson.

PCSSD is made up of 37 schools, however, nearly a one-third of them are in Jacksonville. PCSSD is in full support of this transition.

"Very positive thing, not just good for the district, but good for the Jacksonville community possibly get them some financing for some new facilities which is badly needed," said PCSSD's CEO, Paul Brewer.

This question could either be presented during the next school election which is in September, or it could be on the November ballot. School officials still need to work out the details.

If passed, Jacksonville would have up to two years to make the complete transition.