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Kercheval seeks school capacity changes to APFO

July 16, 2005|by TARA REILLY

A proposal by a Washington County Commissioner calls for halting development in areas where schools are designated as having "failing" capacities, saying any more enrollment growth might negatively affect the education of students who attend those facilities.

The proposal by County Commissioner James F. Kercheval is part of several changes he recommended to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO).

He presented the recommendations to the commissioners on Tuesday.

The commissioners are in the middle of revising the APFO, which sets regulations to ensure that schools, roads and other government services are adequate to handle growth.


The APFO already classifies schools as being adequate or inadequate to handle additional growth. Adequate means that an elementary school is 85 percent or less than the state's designated capacity for that school, and a middle or high school is 100 percent or less than the state capacity.

Inadequate means that an elementary school is more than 85 percent, and a middle or high school is 100 percent or more than the state capacities for those schools.

Kercheval has proposed adding the "failing" designation for any elementary, middle or high school that is classified as inadequate and where portables or other changes no longer can be made to accommodate growth.

"Developments which impact schools deemed 'failing' should not be allowed to continue because the impact of more students goes beyond acceptable levels and could permanently affect the education of those students in a negative way," Kercheval said in a written proposal. "In these areas, there should be no exemptions from the APFO."

He said the failing schools should be made top priorities for future improvements.

The commissioners on Tuesday delayed a vote on previous proposed changes to the APFO after Kercheval presented his recommendations.

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