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Nash school district to change name

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When southern Nash County students return to classes in the fall, they will no doubt notice their school district’s name has changed.

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will change its name to Nash County Public Schools effective July 1.

The change, mandated by state law, was approved by the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education in March.

The N.C. General Assembly required the change as result of compromise legislation in 2016 to prevent the school district from splitting along Nash and Edgecombe county lines.

The legislation states: “Notwithstanding Chapter 391 of the 1991 Session Laws, beginning July 1, 2020, the ‘Nash Rocky Mount School Administrative Unit’ shall be named the ‘Nash School Administrative Unit,’ and the ‘Nash Rocky Mount Board of Education’ shall be the ‘Nash Board of Education.’”

The law provides the name of the administrative unit and the name of the governing body, which are both defined in local Board of Education Policy 1000, said Chris Catalano, executive director of communication, planning and engagement for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools.

“A third name is also in BOE Policy 1000 and that is the known name of the district,” Catalano said. “This is the name the public uses and that is marketed in all of our district communication and documents.”

In 2015, the Nash County Board of Commissioners voted to seek legislation to split the school system along county lines.

The move would have sent as many as 2,000 students who live on the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount to Edgecombe County Public Schools.

In the end, the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners voted to increase its funding to the Nash-Rocky Mount school system, and the Rocky Mount City Council agreed to phase out its funding.

The city-county system created by lawmakers in 1992 remains intact, with all of Rocky Mount continuing to be part of Nash County’s school district.

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