BROOKSVILLE -- The Bracken County School District is questioning whether or not some children attending Augusta Independent School actually reside in Augusta.
Bracken County Board of Education's Attorney Suzanne Cassidy of Crestview, said the district recently sent about 15 subpoenas to parents of students attending AIS.
In the subpoena, parents are asked to attend a meeting with a hearing officer on Jan. 19, 2018, beginning around 8:30 a.m.
"We're trying to resolve a dispute," Cassidy said. "We need testimony to prove or disprove if the children should be attending Bracken County Schools or Augusta Independent School."
Cassidy said the hearing officer has been contracted through the Kentucky Department of Education.
"Everything has been authorized by the KDE," she said.
According to Cassidy, the district is looking at students during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school year.
If it is discovered, during the hearings, that AIS students should have been attending Bracken County Schools, there are a few options for parents, according to Cassidy.
"They could attempt to continue sending their children to (AIS), but they would be charged tuition or they could send their children to Bracken County, which would be the free public education offered to them. Of course, we won't know any specifics until once the hearings have been completed."
The dispute between the school districts have been ongoing for some time. In June 2017, Bracken County Schools Superintendent Jeff Aulick requested the board to approve him seeking subpoenas for parents of some students attending AIS.
At that time, Aulick said the subpoenas were being requested due to an ongoing investigation into the residences of several students who attended AIS and claimed to be living in Augusta.
"There are well over 35 students attending Augusta Schools saying they reside in Augusta," Aulick said in a June 2017 board meeting. "Based on a preliminary investigation, the Bracken County Board of Education seriously questions whether these students are truly residing in Augusta. By issuing these subpoenas, the Bracken Board will be able to question the parents/guardians of these students under oath in order to ascertain where the students truly reside."
AIS Superintendent Lisa McCane responded to Bracken County School District's question of residency claims.
According to McCane, there was, at one point, an agreement reached between the school districts, but that agreement ended.
"There is an ongoing dispute between the Augusta Independent BOE and the Bracken County BOE regarding certain students’ residency. The Augusta Independent BOE reached an agreement with the Bracken County BOE, but due to certain circumstances, the Bracken County BOE decided to forego the agreement," she said. "Instead, the Bracken County BOE filed an appeal to the Kentucky Department of Education in October 2017. The administrative appeal is now before KDE. The Augusta Independent BOE did not issue any subpoenas as a result of this appeal. The Bracken County BOE is solely responsible for this appeal and the issuance of subpoenas."
McCane maintains that students attending AIS do live in Augusta.
"In response to this appeal, the Augusta Independent BOE maintains that it has lawfully enrolled all of its students," she said. "While the Augusta Independent BOE feels this appeal is unnecessary and gratuitous, the Augusta Independent BOE’s focus will remain on what’s important: educating our students and serving the families in our community."