Interpretation's Date: September 27, 2002
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: III. County Educational Administration
SubSection: A. County Boards of Education



September 27, 2002

Cynthia Phillips Kolsun, Superintendent Tucker County Schools
501 Chestnut Street
Parsons, WV 26287

Dear Ms. Kolsun:

Pursuant to your request, I have examined the present situation whereby certain students who reside in Preston County currently attend school in Tucker County. Here are the facts as I understand them:

Currently, approximately sixty students from Preston County attend school in Tucker County.

On February 9, 1990, the West Virginia Board of Education approved an amendment to the Preston County Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan. The Amendment provided for the closure of four Preston County High Schools (Bruceton High School, Central High School, East Preston High School, and West Preston High School) with a reorganization for Newburg Junior High. Minutes of a February 9, 1990 meeting show that the State Board approved the Amendment with the express requirement that Preston County be very lenient in allowing students to attend schools in surrounding counties. The terms of this requirement were to be set forth in a contract agreement between the State Board and the Preston County Board of Education.

Accordingly, a Memorandum of Agreement between the Preston County Board of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education was entered into on April 4, 1990. The Memorandum provided that approval to close the four high schools noted above was conditioned on Preston County's agreement that the opportunity for students wishing to attend schools in neighboring counties would be available, that Preston County would not be required to provide transportation for those students attending schools in neighboring counties, and that no tuition would be charged to Preston County by the neighboring counties accepting Preston County students.

This Memorandum of Agreement has not been rescinded or altered in any way.

As such, it is my interpretation that those students who reside in Preston County but who currently attend Tucker County Schools do so with the express agreement of the Preston County Board of Education as provided in the Memorandum of Agreement signed by the Preston County Board of Education on April 9, 1990. These students should be counted in the enrollment figures of Tucker County, not Preston County.

Further, based on the Memorandum, it is proper for Tucker County to continue providing bus transportation to those students living in the Aurora area, as it has done for a number of years. This issue was specifically addressed in a letter from Dr. Marockie to Mary Alice Klein, former Superintendent of Tucker County Schools, dated July 17, 1991.

In that letter, Dr. Marockie stated that he found "no statutory or other authority to allow either Superintendent Pritt or the Preston County Board of Education to prohibit Tucker County from sending a bus to Aurora to pick up . . . students." There has been no statutory or policy change which would alter this determination.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am



David Stewart
State Superintendent of Schools


cc: Dr. Tauna Cole, Superintendent, Preston County Schools

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