Friday, May 18, 2012
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD opens doors to out-of-district students
Two areas, including parts of Coppell, Valley Ranch, and Farmers Branch outside of CFBISD, are where transfers may come from.
Like most school districts, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD had to get creative when the state cut millions in education funding. But with the help of the district's strategic plan, balancing the budget became less of a headache and more of an art form. Now, the district is trying something a little different for the 2013 school year to get more education dollars flowing at schools currently lacking high enrollment figures -- out-of-district open enrollment.
The idea isn't new; in fact, several districts in North Texas are toying with the idea of allowing students to transfer from other districts into their schools that see less enrollment than others, said Superintendent of C-FB ISD Bobby Burns.
"We looked at this in a work study and the board revised its policy," Burns said. "We allow it now but in only designated geographical areas and aligned with campuses based on space. A lot of districts around have been doing it for years because they had space but with the funding changes it became more conducive to do it because you got revenue."
The additional students mean more money for the district without raising taxes and could also result in more teachers if the plan plays out as expected, Burns said.
Just how much money? Roughly $5,000 per transfer student.
"Revenue is more than $5,000 per kid and approximately 10 kids pay for one teacher," said Angela Shelley, media specialist for C-FB ISD. "We are working closely with our campuses, our student services department and administration to make sure we are handling [the new process appropriately]."
The district is also considering other options to bring in more students outside the first parameters set. But for now, the district will take the process step-by-step ensuring the first round will run smoothly.
"We would like to have between 100 and 150, but that's a top end," Burns said. "If we get somewhere around 50 or 75 additional students for the 2012-2013 year we feel it would be a success."
But for students at Riverchase Elementary in Coppell, Barbara Bush Middle School and Ranchview High School in Irving, Stark Elementary and Field Middle School in Farmers Branch, and R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton, the additional students mean more friends and more fun.
Parents have until June 15 to apply and the number of openings will be determined by administration based on campus and grade level capacity, growth projections, teacher allocations and/or other administrative considerations.
Students may transfer from Area 1, which includes the cities of Coppell and Valley Ranch west of C-FB ISD boundaries, south of Sandy Lake Road, east of Denton Tap/Beltline Road North, and north of Interstate 635. Students may transfer from Area 2, which includes the city of Farmers Branch outside the C-FB ISD boundaries.
If the trial run proves successful and the number of applications for a particular grade level or school exceeds the number of spots available, a lottery will be conducted to determine acceptance. There are no tuition fees for accepted out-of-district students but, according to the school's website, this waiver of fees may be reviewed in successive years.
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