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Nonresident Student Admission Policy on Center School Board Agenda Tonight

Center School District’s Board of Education will meet Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m.

In addition to routine items on the agenda, such as paying the bills and overseeing personnel changes, board members will hear an update on the expenditure of school bond funds. They also will consider revising a district policy relating to admission of nonresident students.

According to the report board members will hear this evening, Center has so far spent the most bond money — about $2.2 million — on installing geothermal heat pumps, which should allow the district to save money on utility bills. Utility payments are usually one of a district’s largest expenses, second only to staff salaries. The second-largest bond fund expense so far — about $1.4 million — has been for technology purchases. In addition to the purchase of heat pumps and technology, the district promised to spend bond dollars on other energy conservation projects and roof repairs. Two years ago, district voters approved the sale of about $3.9 million in school bonds. Bonds are a form of debt for districts similar to mortgages for homeowners.

Illustration Credit: Center School District

Also tonight, board members will consider revising district policy JECB, Admission of Nonresident Students. The Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) has recommended the district clarify a line in the opening paragraph of the policy. According to the MSBA, this line “appears to allow the admission of nonresident students under circumstances not required by law.”

Center is one of six suing over plans for student transfers from the unaccredited Kansas City, Missouri School District. According to Missouri statute, students from unaccredited districts have the right to transfer to those such as Center that are accredited. A trial date is set for late June.

During their December meeting, the Board of Education of the Kansas City district approved a policy regarding student transfers to accredited districts. Two days later, five of those districts — Blue Springs, Independence, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown — filed a petition seeking to delay implementation of this policy until other legal and governance issues can be worked out. Center School District later joined the suit. Although the Kansas City, Missouri policy says that district will pay tuition on a monthly basis for transferring students, most other school boards have policies in place stating they will only accept students who pay tuition in full in advance.

Tonight’s meeting, which is open to the public, will take place in the Board Room; Boone Elementary School; 8817 Wornall; Kansas City, MO 64114.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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