The bill leaves no room for criteria local schools once used to select transfer students. Almost all area schools asked for a transfer applicant’s transcript, discipline record and ISTEP scores before deciding whether to let the student in.
Taylor School Corp. Superintendent John Magers said he’s generally in favor of Karickhoff’s bill that prohibits schools from using such records to decide which transfer students can come to a school.
But the district’s bylaws say academic, attendance and disciplinary records will be considered when an applicant applies for a transfer to Taylor.
Despite that, Magers said, “Everybody should be on a level playing field. We should be accepting children no matter what their academic needs are.”
He said it’s not “morally correct” to accept students based on test scores or attendance records.
In September, though, Magers admitted that the open enrollment policies had hit Taylor hard.
While more than 500 county students are attending school outside their district, not many are choosing Taylor.
In fact, Taylor is down about 50 students this year, Magers had said. Because state tuition dollars now follow the student, Taylor lost more than $100,000 in revenue when those students left.
Caddell said many of those students are choosing Eastern instead.
Transfer students have allowed the district to add teachers and programming at a time when the school-aged population inside the district was shrinking.
But if the transfer bill becomes law, Caddell will recommend that Eastern stop accepting transfers, no matter what the consequences are.
He’s hoping to stop the bill before it gets to that point, though.
“Eastern adamantly opposes this bill,” he said. “It’s a bad bill.”