Kentucky Senate Passes Bill Allowing Students to Change Districts

by Devin Katayama on March 9, 2012

The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would allow students to attend a school outside their district, but that doesn’t necessarily mean higher achieving districts will be willing to accept students from outside the area.

Senate Bill 143 passed this week 20-15, with a majority of votes from republicans.

Bill sponsor Ken Winters, R-1, said he introduced the bill to allow parents who work outside their district the opportunity to transport their child to a more convenient school. But the bill would likely also allow students to attend more successfully achieving districts, said Winters.

“The bill would probably not prohibit that from happening. That was not the intent going in but there would be the option for something like that to occur,” he said.

This year there has been 59 investigations of Jefferson County families trying to send their child to an Oldham County school and that number has dropped from previous years, said assistant Oldham superintendent Dan Orman.

Oldham County has grown over his tenure and this expansion makes it difficult to manage staff and finances, he said.

“Tuition based students coming from other school districts creates real pressure on staffing and financial issues within a school district,” he said.

The bill would allow receiving districts the chance to accept or reject an outside application but Orman said under the district’s condition “that would be a very difficult thing for Oldham County Schools to do.”

Districts that do accept students will get 90 percent of the state SEEK funding for that student. The remaining 10 would go to the student’s district of origin, said Winters.

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