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Gulf Shores can separate from Baldwin County School System in 2019

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The city of Gulf Shores will have to wait until 2019 to run its own school system but it is one step closer to separating from Baldwin County Public Schools.

On Friday, Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler announced the decision by the State School Superintendent for separation to begin in 2019.

Alabama State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson decided Gulf Shores' separation from Baldwin County schools will begin in 2019.

That's a year longer than the Gulf Shores School Board, led by President Kevin Corcoran, had wanted.

Corcoran and the other board members had been making moves to try and meet a Fall start date.

"We're disappointed. We were hoping for 2018 and we were prepared for a 2018 start but we respect Dr. Richardson's decision," said Corcoran.

One move the Gulf Shores School Board made was interviewing current Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Matt Akin last week.

Akin was offered the job just days ago and Corcoran says that offer still stands.

"We want Dr Akin to come on board as soon as practical. We just wanted to be respectful of Huntsville City Schools and their position. There's a few things he needs to button up but we expect he'll be ready to go," Corcoran said.

Discussions broke down between Gulf Shores and the Baldwin County School board in February.

Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler sought input from the State after refusing to negotiate due to concerns over the amount of time Gulf Shores had to prepare and properly serve students.

In response to the State Superintendent's decision, Superintendent Tyler's released a statement.

"We believe that his decision will allow the best transition for the students, teachers and families in Gulf Shores with the least amount of disruption for those families who will remain in our system," said Supt. Tyler.

Tonia Turner lives in Orange Beach and has two kids that attend Gulf Shores public schools.

Turner said she believed Gulf Shores could get a school system up and running by Fall 2018 but she's glad they have another year to prepare.

"Lets make sure everything is really where it needs to be academically and athletically. Every day you want to create something wonderful but until you can sit down for a second and make it great, why rush it?" said Turner.

There’s no word on when Akin will sign on as Gulf Shores School Superintendent.

When Akin is hired, Corcoran said a negotiation agreement with Baldwin County Public Schools could happen within months.

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