So, at the last board meeting, Ramona Tyson quietly pulled the new board policy on student assignment (transfers) from the agenda. Now, we see the new policy (we're interested in Part F) has emerged on the eBoard website, still allowing for a range of interpretation. Still clear as mud.
Here we go:
Instances in which students may attend school outside their attendance area are outlined below. The District will publish written and/or electronic materials further explaining each of these options.
Students who do not reside in the District are not eligible for enrollment in a District school, except as required by state law or as provided below.
A. ESEA/NCLB Public School Choice
Pursuant to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind Act (“ESEA/NCLB”), students attending a school designated as Needs Improvement may be eligible to transfer to another school that is on the District’s list of receiving schools. Each year, the District provides notice to parents or guardians of students who are eligible for ESEA/NCLB transfer.
B. Special Needs Students
In certain circumstances, special needs students requiring special education student services will be placed in a school other than the school serving their attendance area, in accordance with special education procedures.
C. Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (Senate Bill 10)
Qualifying special needs students may attend another public school within the District that has available capacity and that has a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing individualized education program.
D. Limited School Choice (House Bill 251)
Students may enroll in certain schools outside of their attendance area where space is available. The House Bill 251 receiving schools to which a student may transfer are publicized each year after seat availability has been determined.
E. Other School Choice Programs
The District offers a number of academic options for students, including, for example, charter schools, magnet programs, and theme schools; these options are referred to as School Choice Programs. The available School Choice Programs and the relevant admissions criteria are published yearly. Every eligible student, regardless of circumstance, must follow the published criteria and process.
The Board, upon recommendation by the Superintendent, and as allowed by applicable laws and regulations, may move a School Choice Program to a different facility or cease the operation of a School Choice Program.
F. Children of Full-Time District Employees
Subject to review by the Office of Student Assignment, a student whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time school-based employee of the District may enroll in the school in which the parent or legal guardian is employed, regardless of whether the employee and student reside in this or another school district. Transportation will not be provided by the District. Children of employees who do not reside in the District will not be required to pay tuition.
A student whose custodial parent or legal guardian is a full-time school-based employee at a theme school may enter the lottery to attend the respective theme school, regardless of the student’s residence. The student must comply with the school’s published admissions procedures.
Because of the unique nature of magnet programs, which have special admission criteria and competitive selection processes, children of magnet program employees will be given no special preference in the application or lottery process for admission to the respective magnet program. Students wishing to enroll in the program must follow the published admission procedures and meet the admission criteria for the program. Moreover, because of the special cost to the District in providing magnet programs, these programs are limited to students who reside in the District.
This provision does not apply to pre-K programs.
Employees’ children who, at the time this Policy is enacted, are attending a school at which they would not be entitled to enroll under this Policy shall be allowed to remain in their current school until they have completed the highest grade at that school.
G. Hardship Transfers
In exceptional circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, hardship transfer requests will be considered. Upon receiving documentation of an extenuating situation, the Superintendent or designee may approve a recommendation by the Office of Student Assignment that a student be allowed to attend a school other than the school serving the student’s attendance area. State law allows for transfer requests in certain circumstances based on placement in a nonpermanent classroom or excessive travel time or distance, as specifically defined by state law and the rules of the Georgia Department of Education, and such requests may be considered by the District. For all hardship transfer requests, available capacity in the requested school at the time of the request will be considered. If capacity is not available, the Superintendent may approve transfer to another school in the District. Transportation will not be provided by the District.
H. Unsafe School Choice Option
1. A student who is the victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined by state law, while in or on the grounds of a public elementary school or secondary school that the student attends, may transfer to another school within ten days of the offense.
2. Federal law also provides for transfers out of a school that is designated as a “persistently unsafe school.” If a District school is designated as “persistently unsafe,” the District will provide procedures for students wishing to transfer from the school.
I. Seniors Moving out of the District
A current or rising senior at a District school who moves out of the District may complete his or her senior year at the District school if the student furnishes transportation, maintains regular attendance, and pays tuition as set forth in Policy JBCBA.
School-based employees. Does that include teachers as well as all other employees, such as cafeteria workers, janitors, bus drivers, security, etc? That could mean several thousand more employees, and several thousand more transfer students. If this "perk" is meant to attract the best and brightest teachers, should it not apply strictly to teachers? If this "perk" is meant to allow teachers the flexibility to stay late and help or tutor students, shouldn't this perk apply to teachers only? Can we afford to offer this perk to say, 10,000 employees rather than the 6,500 who are teachers?
One more thing, please take note of the admission that magnet programs cost more per student to operate.