Saturday, February 06, 2010

Chenowith hired to write reciprocal agreement appeal for Corbin Schools

A reciprocal agreement dispute between Corbin Independent and Knox County schools is headed to Commissioner Terry Holliday for some referreeing, and KDE spokeswoman Lisa Gross says any decision made will likely be firm and decisive.

A reciprocal agreement allows "non-resident students" who live in one district to attend school in another district free of charge. SEEK funds follow the child.

But a recent decision by the Knox County School Board to disallow its students from attending school in Corbin set off sparks in the community and 500 showed up at the next meeting to let the board hear about it. Early last week, the board in Corbin voted unanimously to appeal the issue to the Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. Frankfort attorney Bob getting ready to file that appeal.

In the meantime, the education guardianship tango has begun.

This from the News Journal:

District recounting number of students affected,
say it is likely to be more than 169
...Knox Schools superintendent Walter T. Hulett said that mounting financial woes, including dwindling state SEEK funds, and higher operational costs, made the decision not to renew the reciprocal agreement with Corbin a necessary one.

...After a somewhat heated discussion with Hulett following last Tuesday's Knox board meeting, Corbin parent Jim Lacefield said he would favor taking the issue to court via a class action suit if necessary. While a possibility, in the interim, some parents are seeking educational guardianships so that their children may attend Corbin schools next year. Officials with Knox District Court say the number of parents making such a move has not been overwhelming.

Although the exact number is not known, court officials say only about 10 or so have been granted.

An educational guardianship allows parents to specify a guardian to oversee their children's education decisions. If the guardian is within the Corbin school district, the child can attend school in Corbin. In order to obtain an educational guardianship, both parents or legal guardians must appear in district court, along with the prospective guardian.

Once a judge signs the paperwork, the document is filed in the Circuit Clerk's office.

Another possible option for parents is an educational power of attorney, a simpler procedure that requires only the filing of a form designating someone besides parents to make educational or medical decisions for a child. The Corbin School System currently accepts students who have either guardianships or powers of attorney.

Gross said that while guardianships and similar concepts are legal, and would allow a student to attend school in a certain district, SEEK funds would only technically follow students who actually live in the district where they attend school. In many cases, while guardians may live within the district, the student does not...

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