February 28, 2018

Weighing open enrollment

With the Center-Stanton school board reporting a large number of district students becoming Cardinals and deciding to take action this month, Washburn Public School addressed the growing concern and frustration regarding open enrollment.
According to a story in the Feb. 22 Center Republican, the Center-Stanton school board took some time at a recent meeting to discuss how open enrollment is affecting the district. Board members looked at their neighbors to the east, expressing frustration over Washburn Public School sending a bus into the district to pick up students.
“I’m going to be very honest, I’m getting a little bit ticked at Washburn right now about how far they are coming into our district to get our kids,” board member Rick Schmidt was quoted saying during the meeting. “It is getting to be a very big substantial number of kids they are coming to get. That is way in our district.”
The board members clarified that they support open enrollment, but that they find issue with schools being reimbursed for running buses outside of their districts. The board passed a motion to write a letter to the transportation committee of the North Dakota Legislature to “express disappointment” with the current open enrollment policy and ability for schools to “double dip” in transportation reimbursement.
The Leader-News reached out to Washburn Public School superintendent Brad Rinas regarding the board’s action.
“I absolutely understand the board members’ point,” Rinas said. “Between the fact that you’ve got people living in your district that are choosing not to go there and (losing) foundation aid and all those kind of things, I certainly understand it.”

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