School Committee Set to Vote Against School Choice

According to Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire, the Everett School Committee was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the issue of whether or not to open Everett classrooms to students from outside of the district, on Tuesday, April 16, following the hearing on the FY 2014 school budget.

However, the superintendent also noted that the district is not anticipating having any seats available in the coming year and thus the School Committee is unlikely to vote in favor of opening the district. The hearing was scheduled to take place after the Independent’s deadline.

“Every school committee in the state has to vote on whether or not to open seats (to School Choice),” explained Foresteire. “The Committee will likely vote against it, because noe of our schools has any room to take on additional, out of district students.”

The School Choice law was enacted to help give parents more choice about where their children attend public schools. Through School Choice, parents who are unhappy with their local schools performance, can choose to send their children to any public school which has voted to open seats to outside students at no cost to the parent.

The sending school district then pays the receiving school district for each student who attends school in that district, at the per pupil expense rate of the receiving district.

However, school districts do not have to adopt School Choice or open seats to outside students, if they feel that their existing facilities and faculty are not large enough to take on additional students.

The vote to adopt School Choice must be taken each year by every school district in the state, and any out of district placements received into a school district become the responsibility of the receiving district. Additionally, any student accepted into a district from outside of the district, has a right to attend that school district until they graduate.

With the recent increases in Everett school enrollment, the district is not currently projecting any additional seats for the upcoming school year.

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