Policy change would give WSCD staff an option for children
August 31, 2010
Changes to school district policy would allow district employees to enroll their children in schools away from their home, giving them an added benefit.
During a regular meeting of the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee of the Warren County School District Board of Directors Monday evening, members forwarded the proposal to the full board. The committee voted unanimously.
Board Member Thomas Knapp, who sat on the committee in place of absent Committee Member Kimberly Angove, said he had talked to a middle school teacher who resides in Warren County but works in the Corry Area School District. Over the last four years, he said the teacher has had three children attend the Corry district.
In total, Knapp said Corry’s district has 12 such students. He said employees pay no tuition for their children’s attendance.
Committee Member Jack Werner said the revision to current policy to allow the attendance permits the superintendent to recommend students attend at a reduced rate. He asked what rate the district would charge the employees.
Director of Secondary Education Amanda Hetrick said it depends on the rate stipulated by the state for how much the district must spend for each student. In addition to the board and superintendent, she said economic conditions would also determine the rate.
Werner asked if the board would discuss each request. Hetrick replied members could set a rate for each school year.
“I would hate to open it up each time.” Committee Member Paul Yourchisin said.
In addition to district employees, Werner asked if others such as service personnel could take advantage of the benefit. Hetrick said the Policy Committee would address that issue.
The original request which spurred the the matter came from a teacher who did not have a hardship or extenuating circumstance as the policy would require, Werner said. Instead, he said the teacher simply wanted the student to attend a school away from home.
“That phrase may be more than we need,” Yourchisin said, referring to the requirement.
Board Member Mary Anne Paris asked how the policy would affect a student’s eligibility to play sports. According to Hetrick, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association goes by the school the student attends and not residency.
Board President Arthur Stewart said other situations arise with non-employees. As an example, he said a person living at the edge of a school’s attendance area might experience a house fire and move into a trailer temporarily across the boundary.
Others move without realizing they have crossed into another school’s area, Stewart said. He said board members might want to include these circumstances in the policy or not.
The district incurs out-of-pocket costs to place students in schools away from home, Stewart said. Board members can predict some of them, he said, such as textbooks and sports uniforms.
The policy might incorporate language explaining all circumstances differ, Stewart said, but still list a minimum tuition. This would prevent a burden for taxpayers, he said.
For state reimbursement purposes, Knapp asked if the district receives funds for students residing within the district’s boundaries but attending schools elsewhere. Hetrick said the district receives reimbursement for students who attend its schools, including those who live within the boundaries of other districts.
Committee Members planned to hold their next meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Warren County Career Center.