BROCTON - A concerned parent is asking the Brocton Central School board to change its policy about tuition-paying students.
Kristin Zappie, an elementary teacher at Brocton and a Fredonia resident, approached the board at a recent meeting asking if the policy could be changed. Zappie would like her daughter to be a student in Brocton and asked the board to make an exception to the policy.
"As you know, my husband James and I submitted a request to the board asking an exception or amendment be made to your current no non-district residents admittance or no tuition student policy. In our letter we asked for a humanitarian exception be made to this policy," Zappie said.
The original letter was denied by John Hertlein, district superintendent, and a request for a private meeting was also denied, according to Zappie. Zappie, along with her husband, decided to bring up the issue at the meeting. Zappie explained the history of the original proposal which was voted on by a previous board as well as research she has conducted on the subject.
Zappie explained in 2009, the state Department of Education passed an amendment stating boards could determine non-district residents attending school on a case-by-case basis. The amendment could allow non-district students to attend Brocton but keep the policy intact.
"New York state has put it in the board (of education's) hands. It is you alone that have the power to review it and make allowances on a case-by-case basis through a vote," Zappie said.
Zappie said many districts do not encourage tuition-paying students since the district does not receive aid for them; the aid goes to the district where the student lives. However, since each school district is getting aid for students who attend out of district, Zappie believes the aid will even out.
"Tuition that children would pay makes up for state aid and New York state currently allows attendance aid to each district," Zappie said. "So, in my research, the cost would be minimal."
The board will look into Zappie's request and will make a decision later.