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May 9, 2014

Settlement agreement signed by Corbin Board of Education

Action to settle and dismiss legal action involving Knox Schools

CORBIN — Stating “It’s a new era,” the Corbin Board of Education signed an agreement Thursday night, ending the historical differences the board and the Knox County Board of Education have had for several years involving reciprocal agreements between the two districts.

During their regular session held at Corbin High School, Superintendent Ed McNeel, Board Chair Kim Croley, Board Attorney Bob Hammons and other officials with the district put their pens to the paper and signed the document, on the mutual release and settlement agreement, and the joint stipulation of voluntary dismissal between the Corbin and Knox County Schools.

The action came at the end of the meeting. Earlier in the session, Corbin board members approved the agreement by a unanimous vote.

It was noted at the meeting the Knox County school board had also approved the measure.

The agreement won’t be effective until it’s signed by the hearing officer and the judge involved in the current lawsuit between the districts, which is pending in Franklin Circuit Court.

After the signing, a sigh of relief could be heard in the Media Room at Corbin High, where the business part of the board meeting was held.

“I think the people who are on board want to work with us,” Croley said about the Knox County school board.

“This ends the historical differences. We’ve already got our agreement (with Knox County) for the coming year. We don’t know about the future, but it’s an historic document,” Superintendent McNeel said after the signing.

In October 2012, the Corbin school board appealed the Kentucky Board of Education’s (KBE) decision earlier that month on the non-resident student agreement between Corbin and Knox County schools for the 2012-13 school year.

That came after the KBE agreed to uphold state Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday’s decision in July 2012, which Holliday said the Knox district’s rejecting “any and all non-resident student agreements proposed by Corbin” was “not arbitrary and capricious as a matter of law” under the Kentucky state Constitution.

In 2009, Knox County ended the contract allowing students living in that county to attend Corbin schools at no cost.

There were other actions taken at Thursday’s meeting, including the revising of the documents for the Corbin Area Technology Center’s Renovation Project, approval to apply for $4.2 million in grant money, approval of a new company as the district calling system in July, and approval of a state-required one-percent raise for all school employees for the upcoming school year.

More on the rest of Thursday’s meeting will be available in Saturday’s Times-Tribune.

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