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On Oct. 10, the Board of Education voted unanimously to both support extending enrollment of new students in the Voluntary Student Transfer (VST) program through 2018-2019 and to accept new students during the proposed five-year extension. The following week, all school districts participating in the program met and unanimously approved the five-year extension for new students to enroll in the VST program countywide. Participating districts also provided their plans for enrolling new students during the additional five years. The Board has been studying the proposed extension since last May, with recent discussions at their Aug. 29 and Sept. 19 meetings. Information about the extension has been heavily featured in recent editions of E-News and as part of a "Hot Topics" mailer that was sent to every resident in the District.
As a follow-up to their vote on Oct. 10, the Board devoted time at their Nov. 28 meeting to study how the District manages its non-resident enrollment (VST students, children of employees and tuition students). District staff will be bringing a recommendation back to the Board in February for managing enrollment levels of non-resident students. The Board also approved a motion to direct the superintendent to submit a proposal to the board that governs the VST program requiring a financial means test for families of students wanting to enroll in the VST program. The goal of the means test would be to create a mechanism that gives families with the financial ability the opportunity to subsidize the per pupil reimbursements districts receive from the VST program.
This October, school districts participating in the Voluntary Student Transfer Program will be asked to consider extending the window for enrolling new students for an additional five years. The current extension expires at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. While all currently enrolled students will be able to continue in the VST program through graduation from CHS, an extension must be approved in order for new students to enroll in the program beyond the 2013-2014 school year. By October, participating districts must indicate:
- If they support extending enrollment of new students in the VST program for an additional five years, through 2018-2019.
- If they intend to enroll new students during the five-year extension.
Clayton’s Board of Education began studying this issue in May 2012 with a presentation from David Glaser, CEO of the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC - the organization that runs the VST program). The BOE provided a number of questions to be answered and topics to be researched in advance of making their decision this fall.
In order to be able to provide VICC with Clayton’s decision by October 2012, the Board established the following timeline:
The District will provide additional information on its website and via E-News as the Board’s discussion continues.