Saturday, December 03, 2011

New Out-of-Zone Student Transfer Policy and Rules

Seeking input, comments, and feedback. 

The original policy can be found here and no changes are recommended.

The original Superintendent's Rules can be found here.

The sub-committee's proposed changes can be found here.  The only requested change/addition to the recommendation is a grandfather clause.

Let me know what you think.


Out-of-Zone Transfer report from August Board meeting can be found here.

Current enrollment numbers by school can be found (link coming soon).  (note - due to a recent vote by the commissioners, we are suppose to be using "state rated capacity" not "core capacity)

Tuition for out-of-county students = $6,925
Tuition for out-of-state students = $11,125


Anonymous said...

Please do not change this policy. It is a totally cost-free way to help teachers and their children.

I fear that this policy change will result in a decrease in teacher willingness and/or ability to participate in after school activities. The same may well be equally true for their children.

im1ru2 said...

The policy should be written and be more clear to specify that as long as the school a transfer is requested TO, is NOT over capacity, the request can be considered.

This is even if the school where the child is zoned to attend and is or is not attending (in the case of home schooling, private school, etc.) is over capacity.

Only in the instances where BOTH schools are at or below capacity should a request for out of zone be considered/approved.

Teachers, like all other parents simply have to make school/work/schedule choices and adjustments the same as many other parents.

Whatever the rule or policy, it should not be different for teachers than parents, and it absolutely should not impact overcrowding.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever the rule or policy, it should not be different for teachers than parents..."

I disagree. Allowing the children of teachers to attend the school to which the teacher is assigned is a consideration (perk) that helps improve teacher morale at no additional monetary cost to the system.

im1ru2 said...

School seat assignments are paid for, by builders, passed on to buyers, and there for do have monetary (oerk) impact, when/if teachers are given "special consideration.

Is this "perk" added to a teachers benefits package?

Moreover, as I mentioned previously, the flexibility factor is something a lot of families juggle.

Negatively impacting school overcrowding, for teacher morale or convienence, when school seat allocation(s) are equated to dollars, just does not pass muster.

I can agree that if a particular school is short a specific need for a teacher (math, science, special ed, etc.), and a teacher either volunteers or is reassigned due to that shortage, this type of a transfer should be automatically approved, if requested.

However, in light of the above scenerio, we could open ourselves up to "school shopping" on the part of some teachers, which is not available to ALL residents.

I am not saying that is the only reason, or that it always happens, but our public dollars must be transparent of any misappropriation.

Teacher morale, or lack thereof should be addressed in the appropriate way; pay, assignment input, pension, resources, etc.

Subverting rules or creating rules only for educators creates an atmosphere of "us vs. them", even unintentionally.

Finally, overcrowding is a huge crisis in a lot of schools and should not be seen as something teachers decry until they are looking for a morale perk.

Anonymous said...

In response to im1ru2, this "perk" is written into the contract. You're right about families having to juggle things, but do you want to see good teachers leave in droves because they can't afford to live in the same area as their students?
Teachers took a big hit this year when it comes to pensions. While many teachers received a tiny raise (after not having one for three years), they are taking home less in their paychecks because of the increase in their portion of funding their own pensions.
The predictable response to this will be, "be thankful to have a job" or "lots of people haven't seen a raise." However, this "perk" is one of the reasons quality teachers stay in Charles County schools. Do you want to see these teachers forced out and replaced with even more non-certified teachers or long-term subs?
Instead of targeting teachers for overcrowding, we should look at overdevelopment and out-of-zone and out-of-county students that are not the children of teachers. There are so many students in our schools that are being dropped off at random bus stops because their parents do not live in this county or in the zone in which they would prefer. The small amount of teachers' children will not alleviate these issues. Furthermore, I would like to see the data on how many students in these overcrowded schools are actually there because they are the child of a teacher.

LegalBeaglette said...

Anonymous @ 7:19 -- The report providing #s data on student transfers (to include those for employees) is available on BoardDocs for the 8/9/11 board meeting.

You state that student transfers for teachers is part of the contract.  I do not have access to that contract, but Ms. Abell's notes for that 8/9/11 meeting show that she asked if this was in the teacher contract.  "Mr. Hettel -- no, it is not in their contract or guaranteed."

So it seems there is some confusion.  From what I have read elsewhere, that contract provision is only for certificated staff who live outside the county.  If that is correct, it is unfortunate Mr. Hettel fumbled his response.

You refer to such consequences as good teachers who will leave "in droves" and teachers being "forced out" and  "replaced by even more non-certified teachers or longterm subs." Really?  Those are given consequences?   You must not look at the same economic and employment indicators that I do (or interpret them the same way.)  

Whether staff can (or should be able to)  readily choose the school their children attend is the question, given the crowding issue at so many of them.

Tuition waivers for out-of-county students are financial write-offs; I think it is a fair and responsible thing for the elected
Board to review that practice.

One last thing -- you stated, "There are so many students in our schools that are being dropped off at random bus stops because their parents do not live in this county or in the zone in which they would prefer."   Substantiate that claim,  please.  

From Ms. Abell's notes for the November 8 meeting, 39 students were removed last year,  and 13 have been removed from North Point this year.  Others are still under investigation.  Student residency and zoning concerns are ongoing, and actively pursued.  

Anonymous said...

North Point HS is 300+ students over capacity. I really don't think that this policy is going to be effective given that only 23 transfer students are the children of employees. According to the transfer data, Westlake had 61 out of zone transfers and only 10 were the children of employees. Once again, is this change going to have any noticeable effect?
Taking this "perk" away from teachers is not going to solve the problem and honestly, it's just another thing to add stress to an extremely stressful job.

LegalBeaglette said...

The proposed "Rules" changes are directed at all transfers, not just transfers for teachers.  

"Employees," "teachers," and "full-time, certificated teachers" are not synonymous references.   

Halting all transfers would not solve the crowding problem, either, but it defies sense to allow transfers to schools already over capacity.   Students are not like pieces of candy we are stuffing into a jar -- every single student requires the services of staff,  and the idea that just one more (or two...or twenty-three) really does not make a difference is foolishness.  

 [IMHO,  anyone who characterizes his/her profession as "extremely stressful" should perhaps consider a different career choice.]

im1ru2 said...

The stats on the number of transfer (total) as well as how many were for "staff" was published in Fridays MD Indep.

Roughly half of the transfers are for "staff".

If you or anyone else us are ware of out-of-zone kids, out -of county kids attending schools they should not, report such to the appropriate office.

I agree w/LB on several points; stress complaints, writing off out-of-county tuition for teachers (mentioned to be $0 in current contract) needing review by BOE, and economic indicators.

Yes teachers were required to contribute more to their pensions, but really, are tax payers on the hook for that or should educators (and the rest of us) place blame where it really belongs; with the elected officials that have not been overseeing MD`s pension fund appropriately.

I blame the later and vote accordingly. The biggest crunch will come when the State simply passes this burden on to counties. It won`t happen in 2012, but look out right after the elections.

Until our State and local elected officials handle over-crowding and school seat assignments much better, educators have only those entities to blame.

Passing on additional cost, more crowded schools and waving the "but for the children" flag to the citizenry is irresponsible, inappropriate and misplaced.

Creating one set of rules favoring teachers over parents is simply wrong. Just as wrong if the policy was to be reversed, favoring parents to the exclusion of teachers and attempting to use all the same justifications; less stress on parents and children, to improve the morale of students, (would actually sound a lot like school choice), and makeup for the negative financial impact MOST people have taken over the last couple of years in pay, apy raises, 401ks, etc.

Jennifer Abell said...

Additional documents and facts added at bottom of original post.

Anonymous said...

I think teachers should be able to bring students to school they work at. Having thier child there enables teachers to save money on childcare and participate in after school clubs and tutoring. If there is concern about overcrowding we need to make everyone submit residence documents each year. Every time i go on a field trip i hear kids on the bus say "that is where i live" as we ride past neighborhoods i know do not go to our school.. The main problem is that the county allowed way too many homes to be built without having the resorces to build enough schools. Many of the schools are bursting..especially the better ones..I don't think the result of changing this "perk" is worth the shake up it will create when a number of great teachers look for jobs in thier zoned areas becasue they can't afford tuition or full day childcare.. Charles County needs to focus on retaining the great teachers and weeding out the bad ones..

Anonymous said...

LegalBeaglette said...
[IMHO, anyone who characterizes his/her profession as "extremely stressful" should perhaps consider a different career choice.]

That comment is ridiculous. What do you do? Sell yarn?