Thursday, June 08, 2000

CPS eyes open enrollment

Plan could bring in money

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski proposed an open enrollment policy to the school board Wednesday that could, if approved, recoup about $150,000 annually the district is losing.

        The plan would allow students from outside the district to attend Cincinnati schools. It would also require a student's home district to give CPS the state money that district receives for that child.

        No existing CPS students would be displaced by the proposal, Mr. Adamowski assured board members Wednesday.

        In addition, the plan would admit suburban students only to CPS schools that have available space, and would be limited to students that wouldn't “negatively affect” the district's racial balance, officials said.

        According to fiscal year 2000 rates, schools receive about $4,578 per pupil. Currently, CPS waives Cincinnati residency requirements for students of district employees who live outside Cincinnati.

        Mr. Adamowski told board members that in addition to the financial benefits, the district would set a precedent that could spark an even exchange of students among area school districts.

        Transportation, under the proposal, would be provided by CPS, but only from an existing district bus stop.

        This plan was initially proposed a year ago, said CPS legal counsel John Concannon.

        “There was a lot going on at the time and there was no immediate interest,” Mr. Concannon said.

        Now, though, this is the first time a dollar amount has been attached to the proposal. “We are doing everything we can to save money,” he said.

        Board members could vote on the proposal at their next meeting. However, Board Vice President Harriet Russell suggested the plan be sent to the board's Program Committee for further review.


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