Mt. Hope parents set sights beyond county lines

Mt. Hope parents set sights beyond county lines

By Christie Ileto - Bio | Email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

MT. HOPE, AL (WAFF)- With the verdict on Lawrence County, AL's school consolidation hanging in the balance, parents are becoming proactive about the next step in their child's education.

Mt. Hope School has a long tradition, but parents are making some untraditional choices. Agatha Garcia said she's focused her sights across county lines.

"I feel like they're going to fall through the cracks at a larger school when they combine the two schools here and I don't think that will happen at Tharptown," she said.

That's a situation that has left the rock of their community as a target of consolidation.

"You got everything?," asks Garcia to her seventh grade daughter. "I've got it!" she said, as she took her softball gear from her mother's hands.

Garcia said her children's future is most important -- a sentiment shared by others affected by consolidation.

"It's not just Mt. Hope [residents] going to Tharptown, it's Speake kids that will go to Danville in Morgan County," said Kristi Robertson.

Right now there are more than 500 students at Tharptown High School and Elementary, and if students at Mt. Hope School plan to attend there next year, that means the Franklin County School System could be looking at increasing at a time when most schools are looking at downsizing.

"It's more money that comes into our school as our enrollment increases, more buildings would have to be built, more classrooms. So we're excited about having more kids come," said Tharptown principal Darit Riddle.

Riddle said he's received several calls from Mt. Hope parents hoping to keep their children in a similar environment in a new location.

The Lawrence County Board of Education will have a meeting Friday evening, where the board's attorney will discuss the final version of the motion before presenting it to Judge Proctor on March 23.