Chelsea takes steps to create independent school system

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CHELSEA, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Chelsea is considering breaking away from the Shelby County School District and creating its own independent school district.

On Tuesday night, the city council passed a vote to move forward with the first step in this process. The council voted 5-1 to approve the hire of Criterion K12 Consulting to perform a feasibility study.

“The role of their company is to do feasibility studies to see if a county or municipality like the city of Chelsea has the means available to it to form its own school system and break away from the county system in which it is involved,” said Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesmire.

Picklesimer says he’s reached out to Shelby County Schools asking for improvements to be made as their community continues to grow.

“Shelby County has told us they don’t have the means to build a new high school and we just believe the moment is now its time for us to take this away from Shelby County and form our own system here in the city of Chelsea,” said Picklesimer.

“Very happy with Shelby County Schools for the last nine years kids have been in school,” Chelsea resident Tom Kalnoske said.

Kalnoske is a parent with children inside the SCS. He along with his neighbors are awaiting the feasibility results to be made public.

“Without knowing all the information on what it will cost on the front end and what we will get on the back end I can’t make an educated decision,” Kalnoske said.

If the study shows positive results, the city of Chelsea will hit the polls to vote.

“Let them give the information to the people once it’s out there then civil debates and we can settle any kind of controversy and if it comes to a vote then we vote,” said Kalnoske.

“We don’t have desire or power to force annexation. We don’t have the desire or power to levy this kind of property tax it will be a decision of the people,” said Picklesimer.

Picklesimer says the study cost around $50,000 and it should be completed by Oct. 15.

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