Schools Board of Education voted 4-2 Monday evening to approve open enrollment for the
upcoming school year.
According to The Ohio
Department of Education's website, there are 430 districts across the state that allow for open enrollment by any
student in the state, and 85 that allow for enrollment by students living in
"It's really this part of the state that's kind of behind
the times," Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan told FOX19.
Cincinnati Federation of Teachers
President Julie Sellers told FOX19 earlier on Monday she was "shocked that they are
taking the vote this evening when there hasn't been enough conversation
publicly about it."
Sellers says she is not totally opposed to the idea, but
was not convinced there has been enough research or discussion of the proposal.
She argues the focus should instead be on trying to
recruit back those students from charter schools that the district has an
obligation to educate. Sellers says there is a high mobility within Hamilton
County between failing charter schools and public school education which has
created a revolving door of enrollment in Cincinnati that makes it difficult to
properly staff the schools.
Ronan argues open enrollment would help reduce mobility
by allowing families who move to continue to retain their children in CPS
Sellers believes open enrollment would necessitate more
teachers, but with the budget shortfall she is concerned CPS will not be able
to properly staff the schools. She worries overloaded classrooms would put an
unfair burden on teachers.
She believes tuition should be given more consideration
because it could generate more money without unfairly burdening the current
area tax payers and students.
Ronan argues tuition brings with it the additional
administration costs of accounting, sending out tuition bills, checking on
enrollment, and verifying who lives in the district.
"We could redeploy those staff to do other things if we
had an open enrollment policy," Ronan argued.
"I understand it's a dollar thing," CPS parent Amanda
Drexelius acknowledged. "I do get that, but I don't know. I like my school
the way it is."
Drexelius understands parents trying to get their kids
into a good school.
"You want that. You want your school to be in demand,"
Open enrollment was not an option for her family,
however, when they were looking at CPS schools.
"It was a big deal to buy a house because you wanted your
kid to go to this school," she recalled.
Now that other families could send their kids for free
she is worried it could affect the quality of the education she has come to
expect from her kids' schools.
"You kind of don't want people from anywhere being able
to drive their kids in when we've made the commitment to stay in this
community," she explained.
CPS officials say students will only be allowed into
empty spots once kids living in the district have registered.
"We would not be taking youngsters in if seats weren't
available," Superintendent Mary Ronan explained.
Ronan says each seat filled brings in about $5,000 a year
from the state. Instead of losing two million a year like they have been
as students leave for other open enrollment districts, Ronan says CPS is
looking to enter the competition.
"This way we're hoping to generate some money because our
district has some wonderful programs," Ronan said.
Ronan says currently out-of-district parents who wish for
their kids to be enrolled in CPS schools must pay $6,600 annually.
"Some of our families are able to pay but quite honestly
a lot of our families aren't," Ronan explained.
Additionally, Ronan says 120 faculty members have their
kids in CPS schools. With open enrollment the district will be able to begin
receiving state dollars for those students.
Ronan recognized concerns about the wording of the open
enrollment policy that says CPS will not take in students with disabilities if
they need a program the district does not already have. School officials
clarified Monday that they will gladly welcome students with disabilities and
that they do have most programs available. They say that wording was simply
copied and pasted straight from the Ohio Revised Code.
"Certainly we would welcome students with disabilities,"
Ronan said. "We just took the legalese out of state law which I think confused
Ronan says families looking to take advantage of open
enrollment can begin the process in May.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-06-20 01:02:49 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Barely into the start of summer and the day camp for nearly 200 kids is shutting down. It's unclear if their parents will get their money back. It's called Inspirational Keys,More >>
Barely into the start of summer and the day camp for nearly 200 kids is shutting down. It's unclear if their parents will get their money back.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 5:14 PM EDT2013-06-19 21:14:11 GMT
National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The problem was discoveredMore >>
National Beef Packing Company - a Liberal, KS, establishment - is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.More >>
Thursday, June 20 2013 12:27 AM EDT2013-06-20 04:27:48 GMT
MILLTOWN, IN (WAVE) – Two people drown in the same water and it happened in less than 24 hours. The first happened Tuesday night, the second Wednesday afternoon, both in the Blue River in Harrison County. MaryMore >>
Two people drown in the same water and it happened in less than 24 hours. The first happened Tuesday night, the second Wednesday afternoon, both in the Blue River in Harrison County.More >>
Thursday, June 20 2013 12:31 AM EDT2013-06-20 04:31:27 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Emergency crews are on the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving two motorcycles. According to MetroSafe, the crash happened at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday on Billtown Road at theMore >>
According to MetroSafe, the crash happened at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday on Billtown Road at the Gene Snyder ramp.More >>