Plan to keep out students tabled

Friday, August 22, 2008

The North Putnam Community School Board tabled passing policy 6150 at their meeting Thursday evening. The policy would have restricted students not living in the school district from attending school there.

After a long discussion a decision to table two different policies until more research could be done by school corporation attorney Gene Hostetler was accepted.

The first reading of the policy was approved at the board's last meeting after considerable discussion and having a second option available. At that time, board members voted 3-2 to approve the first reading of the policy. Thursday night they tabled both options until more information on the legalities of allowing certified staff living outside the district to bring their children to school with them.

The options are being considered because of upcoming changes to the distribution of funds to schools. In January 2009, the State of Indiana will take over the distribution of funds from the General Fund. This includes tuition transfer monies which schools can currently collect from students who attend school but do not live in the school district.

Pride explained that many schools are looking at instituting such policies because those that do not may have taxpayers paying costs for students who do not live in the school district. After January 2009, schools may not receive the tuition transfer funds and will have to pick up the costs of those students.

An additional consideration brought up at Thursday's meeting was the cost per student for special education. Several requests are received each year from families outside the school district to send their special needs children to Roachdale Elementary where there is a program for them.

A second option, which Pride presented, would allow some exceptions with the decision for the acceptance of those students being made by the principal and superintendent which were defined in the policy.

Board member Andy Beck asked why the board had to make a decision right now. Pride responded that the school corporation needs a policy in place by Jan. 1, 2009 when the change in cash transfer tuition goes away.

"I just need some guidance from you as what to do," Pride explained. He added that he thought they had three choices.

"Let no one in, let everyone in or reject or accept students based on certain circumstances. Whatever way you go, we need something in place and need to be ready" he said.

Currently, the school accepts transfer students if there is space available and if tuition is paid to the school.

In other business, the board approved a recommendation of an insurance package from Indiana Insurance for $110,467. The policy does not include flood or earthquake.

A recommendation to approve a Coach's Handbook was approved and amendments to the High School Athletic Handbook to include an Athletic Study table were approved.

Board members also gave Pride permission to increase the corporations' borrowing capacity to $6 million.

They also approved a fundraiser by the Roachdale Parent Teacher Organization.

The North Putnam School Corporation meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.

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