Southbound lanes of I-65 now open to traffic in Morgan County, ALDOT repairs damaged bridge

Franklin County schools prepare for hundreds of additional students this fall

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Most school systems see a growth trend and have time to prepare for it.

In Franklin County, school leaders found out last month they should expect hundreds of additional students on their campuses this fall.

The influx of students comes on the heels of Russellville City Schools announcing it will begin charging tuition for out-of-district students.

“We’re looking at gaining approximately 400 students, that’s almost another campus,” stated Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams.

Williams admitted his head began to spin when the news that many students will be headed to the Franklin County school system. They have had to cram years of planning into a few short months.

“We’re going to be going through some difficult times, but we’re going to get it done and welcome those students,” Williams said. “That’s the main thing, we want the students to like they’re safe and they’re going to get a good education.”

And the logistics are nothing short of mind-boggling.

They are faced with coming up with a couple of million dollars to accommodate the 400 to 500 students that are expected to transfer in the fall. They must immediately come up with classrooms, teachers, text books and even buses.

And Williams didn’t hesitate to ask the Alabama Department of Education for help.

“We won’t be funded unless the state does something special on the teacher units,” Williams explained. “Then the mobile units, yeah we don’t have funds to do that so we have talked with the state department and asked for some help with those types of things.”

The school system will have to hire no less than 20 teachers, aides, cafeteria workers and bus drivers to get the students picked up and taken home.

The Franklin County School System will be holding an open registration for students who will be transferring from Russellville on April 26.

The registration locations will be the Tharptown schools, Belgreen School and the East Franklin School.