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LOUISIANA: Delhi Charter to consider arrangement with ARKANSAS school

fundingThe Delhi Charter School Board will consider a one-year agreement tonight that would allow 80 Louisiana students to continue an education in Arkansas funded by Louisiana tax dollars.

The agreement with Delhi Charter would pick up where an old agreement between Claiborne Parish Schools and Junction City Arkansas Schools left off.

For more than 90 years, the two school districts, Claiborne and Junction City Arkansas Schools have had an agreement that permitted Louisiana students to attend schools in Arkansas, but the Claiborne board recently decided to end the agreement.

Under the old arrangement, Claiborne Parish Schools forwarded money from the state to Arkansas to fund the cost of educating children who lived nearer the Arkansas schools than Lousiana schools.

Delhi Charter spokesman Albert Christman said the agreement between Delhi Charter and Junction Arkansas has not been completed, but the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved an amendment to the Delhi contract that would permit the arrangement.

“We are now left to decide what to do with it,” Christman said. “The only apprehension that we might have would be the time that it would take away from the administration of Delhi Charter.”

The students involved in the agreement would be registered as Delhi Charter School students, but Junction City Arkansas schools would be a “service provider” for the school. The students would not attend school on Delhi Charter Campus, but would attend in Junction City Arkansas.

Christman said that during the longstanding agreement between Claiborne and Junction City, students had not been tested with administered Louisiana standardized tests Louisiana standards, but under the new agreement would take the same test as Louisiana students.

Superintendent John White said Delhi Charter Schools would receive the test scores for the 80 students as part of their school performance score.

The scores of the students in Junction City Schools would also be broken out separately so both the school and BESE could assess the education of the students in Arkansas.

White said he hopes the arrangement between Delhi and Junction City is not necessary.

“My personal hope is that the school system would just keep doing what it has done for 90 years,” White said. “It would make it easier for the parents.”

Louisiana School Board executive director Scott Richard said that while the board understands the desire to help the students who are involved in the agreement, he worries about the precedent it would set.

“There are a lot of policy issues that are unanswered,” he said.

Parents of the students involved in the arrangement will apply for a Type 2 charter for the 2014-15 school year.

At one point, Union Parish Schools also had a similar agreement with Junction City, but discontinued the arrangement about 15 years ago.

Source: The News Star – by Barbara Leader

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2013 by in Arkansas, Charter Schools, Louisiana, State funding and tagged , .

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