According to a statement from Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler, State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson has ordered the city of Gulf Shores to delay separation from the county school system until 2019. The fledgling Gulf Shores School System, formed last October, had lobbied the state to open to students as early as August. Earlier this week, the system extended an offer of employment to Dr. Matt Akin to become its first superintendent.

“We believe that his decision will allow the best transition for the students, teachers and families in Gulf Shores with the least disruption for those families who will remain in our system,” Tyler said in a statement. “We have always been focused on what was in the best interest of the students, teachers and families. In our meetings to directly resolve this with Gulf Shores, we have always taken the position of a 2019 separation date. We have always felt that this start was in the best interest of the student and teachers. After hearing our position, Dr. Richardson agreed and we are pleased with his decision.

“With only one year to go, we will begin work towards the 2019 separation where we will wish Gulf Shores the best in their new system while also celebrating the opening of Baldwin County’s new state of the art facility for grades 7-12 in Orange Beach. We are confident that everyone will be well served by this decision from Dr. Richardson.

“There are many details to discuss and we will work towards a final separation agreement quickly. We have committed to being transparent and we intend to be but we must do so in a responsible manner. We will provide the public with more details in the coming week.”

Update: Gulf Shores School Board President Kevin Corcoran issued the following statement:

GSCBOE Start Date Announcement