Uintah Schools Superintendent Charlie Nelson explains the situation with transportation and the district's planned involvement in Union High School to parents in Ballard.
and members of the Duchesne and Uintah
school boards attended the parent meeting on Aug. 24.
News that the Uintah School District
would not participate in the planned construction of a new Union High School
brought more than 50 concerned parents to an Aug. 24 meeting in Ballard.
The parents crowded around picnic tables in the Ballard Town Park and asked pointed questions of Uintah Superintendent Charlie Nelson and School Board member Allen Huber and Duchesne County School Board member Kim Harding.
"With the financial crisis that we're in ... it costs us about $50,000 a year to transport your kids to Union High School
every year and we just can't afford that any more," Nelson
said the district is already running buses on the west side of the county, but does not get reimbursed by the state for the routes that go to Union.
"They say, That's an unqualified route; we're not giving you the money for it,'" Nelson
Other parents brought up the inability of their children to participate in extracurricular activities at Uintah
because they will need to catch a bus immediately after school to get home.
Still others voiced the opinion that Uintah High School
is a more dangerous campus than Union High.
"Your kids are as safe at Uintah
as they are at Union," Nelson
told the group.
Although the transportation issue dominated much of the debate, the primary reason for last Monday's meeting was the concern that the new Union High will not be built to accommodate students from the Ballard area.
In an Aug. 4 letter, Nelson informed Duchesne Schools Superintendent John Aland that "after careful consideration of the issues surrounding such a proposal, the Uintah School Board respectfully declines to participate in the construction of your new school building."
went on to write that the Uintah District has its own high school capable of serving all students with a variety of highly-rated programs.
noted the proximity of Uintah High School
to the new Uintah Basin
Applied Technology College/Utah State University-Uintah Basin joint campus.