The Barbour County School system is at the center of a heated discussion, the federal justice department has mandated that all Barbour County residents send their children to Barbour County schools, but parents at least want their children to graduate from the school they started in.
Dale County Superintendent Phillip Parker says, "As of January 2005 we have not taken any students, but the ones that are here we want them to graduate here."
The problem is largely due to finances. Schools get funding based on their enrollment numbers and throughout the last 7 years, Dale County enrollment has risen while Barbour Counties numbers declined. Barbour County Superintendent says Vic Adkison says, the 500 students we've lost about $6,000 per pupil, it doesn't take much figuring."
That means the school has lost about three million dollars in state funding, but the issue goes far beyond finances.
Adkison says, “When you have 500 students from 1999, that is significant. From 1,700 to 1,200 students, that is a major percentage and that many are white is raising questions."
Many people are questioning if students in Dale County are receiving better educations and if there is a noticeable difference in the race makeup of the schools.
Students in Barbour County schools seemed happy with the education they are receiving. The school is in the process of making major renovations to allow students to be taught at a higher standard, and hopefully make the transition from other schools into the Barbour County school system as smooth as possible.