Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Um... What Happened to The Money Follows The Child?

Elisabeth Harrison:

Ever wished you could send your kids to a Barrington public school without actually moving there? Well, now you can.

The district opens a pilot program this fall for 10 students who live outside the town. Barrington School Committee Chair Patrick “Buzz” Guida says administrators are finalizing what criteria they will use to select the students.

“We’re looking to test it to see if it works,” Guida says of the pilot program. “If it works well for the students who are in district and those who might be coming from another community, then it might be something that we’d want to pursue in the future.”

Guida says the program will be aimed at students who could be “enriched” by Barrington’s school offerings. The district is open to applications from any student at any grade level, with the exception of those needing special services.

As with many things in life, there is a cost. Parents would have to provide their own transportation and pay $12,800, the equivalent of Barrington’s average cost per pupil. (Even at that price, it sounds like a bargain compared to tuition at many private schools!)

What do we have to do to just make this part of the overall "choice" system and covered by the funding formula? Can they really exclude special needs students? Can we get a lottery?

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