Bella Vista Shut Down In Bid For Own School District

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The Bentonville School Board struck down a bid for Bella Vista to create its own school district.

The Bella Vista Patriots, a nonprofit community improvement organization, asked the board to consider allowing the city out from its position as a member of the Bentonville School District. The board struck down the measure unanimously, 5 to 0, saying Bella Vista did not have the money or the infrastructure to support its own school district.

Board members said building a new school district would be an unnecessary strain on taxpayers.

Jim Parsons, chairman of the Bella Vista Patriots, said the city’s size and number of students warrant a new school district. Parsons said 3,000 of Bentonville’s 15,000 students are from Bella Vista. Ley disputes the number, but said administrators do not have a counter estimate.

The Arkansas Department of Education requires a school district to have 4,000 students before it can be recognized by the state.

Bella Vista has a population of 25,250. Bentonville’s population is 35,301, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Bentonville has two schools outside of the city. Cooper Elementary is in Bella Vista, and Centerton Gamble Elementary lies in Centerton.