Changes ahead in education

Published 11:54am Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On Sept. 9, the Pelham City Council voted to form a Pelham Board of Education and create a city school system separate from the county system.

Although the City Council had to formally vote to create the board and the system, it has been apparent that this decision has been in the works for months, especially once the council approved a 1-cent sales tax increase intended to raise funds for a Pelham education fund that will support schools within Pelham city limits.

We support the process followed by the Pelham City Council. The council has done its due diligence, following the blueprint set out by the Alabaster City Council by commissioning a study to show if Pelham could support a city school system and then reviewing pro forma, or forward looking, budgets for the system.

While there has been some controversy surrounding the possibility of a city school system, now that the decision has been made, we urge all citizens of Pelham to band together to support the system.

There are still many decisions ahead to be made. Some Pelham residents whose children currently attend Chelsea schools will have to decide if they can handle the distance to Pelham schools, try to get their homes de-annexed from Pelham or move.

The Shelby County School System and the new Pelham School System will have to figure out what will happen with students of the Linda Nolen Learning Center — will Pelham special needs students be allowed to continue to attend that school? If not, how will those students be served? That decision alone will impact the lives of many special needs students, and that’s a question that all county residents deserve to have answered sooner rather than later.

As Pelham moves forward on this new, exciting journey, we wish all Pelham parents, students and educators the best of luck in creating the best possible school system. We look forward to following its progress.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.

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