BY Cristal Cody
The Eureka Springs School Board faces a contested race for one seat on the school board, while no one filed to run for the other open position in the Sept. 18 election, according to the Carroll County Clerk's Office.
Incumbent Tom Freehling, who was elected to position 4 on the school board in September 2009, will face opponent Jason Morris in the race.
The other slot open is position 3, the seat of Robert McCormick, a longtime board member who elected not to run this year.
The Eureka Springs School Board will appoint someone to fill McCormick's seat until the next election date, said Curtis Turner, Superintendent at the Eureka Springs School District.
"By statute, he would remain on the board until the board appoints someone else to fill his position," Turner said. "If he serves through September, the board then could appoint someone and they have 30 days to fill that position. The remainder of that term would be up for election -- it's a three-year position."
In addition to the changing board, the Eureka Springs School Board faces other challenges in the year ahead.
"There are a lot of things we're doing well and a lot of things we're really proud of," said Turner, who noted that the new high school will open in January. "But the biggest thing is enrollment is a major issue for us. Seventy-five kids left [in the last school year]."
The falling enrollment and the lawsuit the district and Fountain Lake School District have against the state to keep their millage instead of giving it to the state for redistribution are expected to "have a major impact on our school district and are high priorities as far as the board is concerned," Turner said.
The school districts currently are awaiting a decision from the Arkansas Supreme Court.