Archive for Saturday, July 22, 2000

School district gets extra land, but maybe not all the students

July 22, 2000


— While the state has ordered land from the Chapman school district to be transferred to the Abilene school district, that doesn't mean the students will follow.

Fifty-four students in the transfer area have won permission from the Chapman school board to attend classes in that district this fall. That accounts for about 67 percent of the students in the transferred area who otherwise would be pupils in the Abilene district.

It doesnt make any sense for people to want their children to go to one school and their tax money to go to another.Chapman Supt. Tony Frieze

Chapman Superintendent Tony Frieze said more requests for out-of-district enrollment are likely to come.

"Even some of the (parents) that haven't turned anything in yet have said verbally that their kids are going to Chapman," he said. "Those numbers should increase."

Abilene successfully petitioned the State Board of Education for the land transfer after being requested to do so by Chapman district residents upset with a decision by the Chapman board to close an elementary school in Talmage.

Many of the transfer requests were prompted by a July 15 deadline for the 10-mile bus rule, which says anyone living more than 10 miles from the Abilene district and living closer to Chapman may attend school in the Chapman district and have Chapman buses pick them up.

Frieze said having students transfer back to Chapman doesn't help the school financially.

The Chapman district will receive the base amount of state funding for each of the students who transfer, but the district will not receive funding for services such as transportation.

"It doesn't make any sense for people to want their children to go to one school and their tax money to go to another," Frieze said.

Abilene Superintendent Marlin Berry said his district will not know how many students will attend from the transfer area until early August.

"It doesn't surprise me that a lot of those kids are staying in the district," he said. "They have friends in the district and want to continue their education there."

The Chapman district has asked the Shawnee County District Court in Topeka to invalidate the state board's order for the land transfer. The district is arguing that former state board member Scott Hill, who voted for transfer, was not a resident of Kansas when he provided the crucial sixth vote on the 10-member board.

Hill had moved earlier in the year to Montana, but he held his seat until he resigned Monday after the attorney general's office said he should step down.

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