School district Essay
So the question is, what are the basic criteria for the schools to receive this state aid? The key is obviously monetary gain for the school system, and the basic criteria is that state monies will be provided for each minority group pupil who is transferred from an attendance area where minority group pupils comprise 30% or more of the population to an attendance area which has less than a 30% minority pupil population.
By the same token, that same state aid is provided to the school that convinces any non-minority group pupil who transfers from their non-minority attendance area (again, less than 30% minority) to a minority attendance area (30% or more minority. ) (Kava 2005). These pupils who are being transferred from school to school must be four years old on or before September 1 of the year they enter school.
While there is little information on just how these student transfers are accomplished, one of Wisconsin’s other programs known as Open Enrollment states that the parents must apply to the nonresident district by February 24th for the fall semester. By April 7th the School district sends out notices of approval or denial, and the parents are eligible to appeal the denial within thirty days of receipt. The students who are accepted into the non-district school are notified by May 12th, and by June 9th the parents of those accepted children must notify the nonresident districts whether their child will actually enroll in the school.
If notification is not made, the student becomes ineligible. (Open 2006). The process for choosing which students are accepted as nonresident transfer students is that the students who are already enrolled as non-residents get preference over the new transfers. Next, preference is given to siblings of those students already attending nonresident schools. After these preferences are granted, the remaining spaces are randomly filled. Some school districts do have waiting lists, while others do not.
A student attending a non-resident school under open enrollment is allowed to return to his or her resident school at any time, however they are then not allowed to return to the non-resident school until the next year when they may reapply. (Open 2006). While both Open Enrollment and Chapter 220 are certainly excellent programs for the integration of Wisconsin schools, I had to wonder just how the parents accomplished the feat of getting their children to school and back each day as parents are responsible for transporting their children to and from school.
Only low income parents who qualify for free or reduced price meals may apply for reimbursement of a portion of their transportation costs. If a particular pupil transfer would increase racial imbalance in the school district, that transfer must be denied. (Open 2006). Parents need to keep in mind that they may only apply for a particular school district, not a particular school. Each school board will assign students to schools within their district and make the decision whether or not to allow intra-district pupil transfers. On a website that details the Shorewood School District in Wisconsin, it is noted that:
“under the Chapter 220 Program, minority students residing in the City of Milwaukee are permitted to attend schools in suburban school districts. Conversely, white students from the suburban districts are permitted to attend schools located in the City of Milwaukee. The program is completely voluntary. Transfers between school districts are facilitated by local planning councils. Following planning council recommendation, districts enter into contracts, which establish the number, grade levels and other characteristics of transfer opportunities. ” (Registering 2006).
An article written in 2003 by Mike Johnson states that Republican lawmakers, looking for savings in their budget, were contemplating either cutting the Chapter 220 desegregation program or merging it with the less expensive public school choice program, threatening a substantial blow to the diversity in Milwaukee public schools. (Johnson 2003). GOP Lawmakers cited high costs as their reason for wanting to cut Chapter 220 funding, as well as a decline in participation in the program. Chapter 220 peaked at 5,981 students in 1993 and counted 4,846 in 2003. Chapter 220 has been called the “nation’s most expensive school choice program.
” (Johnson 2003). In some ways the Open Enrollment Program, while having the same goals as Chapter 220 has actually hurt the 220 program. During the 2000-2001 school year, the state paid $47 million in Chapter 220 aid to MPS, with their 23 participating suburban districts. Open enrollment, on the other hand cost just under $11 million during that same time period, and had almost twice the number of students. Districts accepting open enrollment students received a payment of $5,195 per student during the 2003 school year, while Chapter 220 school districts received approximately $9,400 per student. (Johnson 2003).