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Judge halts Cuba school sale

BY LAUREN P. DUNCAN lduncan@paducahsun.com

The Graves County Board of Education won't be selling Cuba Elementary School for the time being.

Franklin Circuit Court in Frankfort entered an order Tuesday delaying the sale of the school and its property, which was set to take place today.

Judge Phillip Shepherd granted an injunction Monday that states the board cannot move forward with its plans to auction the school until he reaches a decision in the case. The school, which served about 150 students and is south of Mayfield, was set for closure and sale as a cost-saving measure for the district.

It was cheduled to be auctioned June 19, before the end of the district's fiscal year that month, but the judge granted a delay. The district then rescheduled the sale for today.

Information from the Graves County Schools on Tuesday states the board plans to reschedule the sale, and students and staff set to be reassigned to different schools, Wingo and Sedalia, will still continue to those schools when classes resume in the fall.

"This order does not change the Board of Education's plans to close Cuba, a decision that was made only after careful consideration," a school news release states. "The board will continue with its plan and will keep the public notified of developments as they occur."

Richard Jackson, one of the plaintiffs filing suit against the district to stop the sale, said after attending Friday's hearing, the plaintiffs expected the judge to grant more time in deciding the case.

"He asked the school board why they would want to shut down the highest ranked school in the district," Jackson said. "The judge said that they'd ought to be using that as a model and not shutting it down."

Neither Jackson nor Graves County District public relations representative Paul Schaumburg knew when Shepherd plans to make his decision.

The Graves County residents who sued allege that the school closure was handled improperly, including the way the board changed the school's classification as a transitional facility, and the impact on other schools taking in relocated students.

Jackson said he saw people taking down auction signs at the school Tuesday.

Contact Lauren Duncan, Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8692 or follow @laurenpduncan on Twitter.

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