The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 6, 2012

ABS students allowed to complete Career Center credits

— The Limestone County Board of Education voted 6-1 to allow Athens Bible School students currently enrolled at the Limestone County Career Technical Center to complete their credits during its regular meeting Tuesday night at the Clinton Street annex.

The motion was amended “to accept any child at Athens Bible School who has not had a chance to complete the program” at the Career Center. The board’s decision eliminates private-school student enrollment following the 2012-13 school year, but board members voting for the motion stated they would re-visit the policy.

Board members James Shannon, Earl Glaze, Darin Russell, Bret McGill, Anthony Hilliard and Charles Shoulders voted yes, while Marty Adams voted against the motion.

The resolution refunds any tuition paid by the two ABS students currently enrolled. It allows them also to complete the 2012-13 school year without paying further tuition.

Back and forth

“I feel like this started with ABS years ago when our system asked them to fill in classes (at the Career Center), and it was a win-win situation,” Adams said. “ABS knew students could attend if there was room, and I’m all for keeping those students in … I don’t really see this being an issue.

“If Athens City (Schools) and the county schools don’t fill the classes, are we going to leave a seat open? That’s what I struggle with.”

Before voting yes, Shoulders asked why the Career Center couldn’t be open to all students in the county, regardless of their affiliation. He also asked why students living within Limestone County aren’t allowed to participate in extracurricular activities even if they don’t attend a county school.

“These are kids in our county — do we not want them to have the best we have?” Shoulders said. “Something we should look at is incorporating kids into extracurricular activities.”

Glaze responded by asking, “What if a county student wanted to take a class or play basketball at Athens Bible School?”

Board members said the primary issue with allowing ABS students to attend the Career Center beyond this school year is whether or not other private-school students would also be allowed to attend.

“Are we going to do this for all private schools (in the county)?” Shannon said. “If you let Athens Bible, then you’re going to have to let the other private-school students, too.”

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