Houston to monitor transfers

LOGO HOUSTON School RAMHOUSTON – The state and federal government allocate money to school districts based on the number of students in school and Houston trustees have asked for details on youngsters transferring to other districts.

Districts in Chickasaw County traditionally allow teachers and staff, who teach or work in another district, to take their children to that school district, but the discretion rests with the school board and districts around the county have different policy for transfers.

Houston School Board trustee Daniel Heeringa pointed out the district routinely approves students to go to other districts and he asked some kind of letter or documentation be kept on each transfer.

Every month we approve students to go to other districts and I would like to know how many we have approved,” said Herringa. “I would also like to know why they are leaving the district.”

Trustees approved ten students to attend Calhoun County Schools in May.

Houston School Board Attorney Jimmy Hood, who is also school board attorney for the Chickasaw County School Board, said Houlka schools approved approximately six transfers from various districts to Houlka schools last month.

Chickasaw County schools have repeatedly denied students to transfer from the district, but do let students move in.

Last summer the district prevented a family of three students, one a senior, from transferring back to Pontotoc County Schools after they bought a home on the edge of Chickasaw County. The Chickasaw County School Board cited U.S. Department of Justice guidelines for racial ratios and segregation mandates in the district as the reason for not allowing the transfer.

Chickasaw County schools do allow residents who are teachers for other districts to transfer their children to that district.

Okolona schools do not traditionally allow students to transfer from the district unless their parents will be teachers in that district that year. Okolona does allow transfers from Houston and Chickasaw County schools to enroll on a regular basis.

Houston is a larger school district than either Houlka or Okolona and transfers would not have as big an influence on racial ratios.

Heeringa said he simply wants hard data on how many transfers have been approved and why students are leaving the district.

I think a letter asking parents why they are taking their children out of the district might be all we need,” said Heeringa. “If there is no problem, praise the Lord. If there is something there, and we see a trend, we need to address it.”

Heeringa volunteered to pen the letter and bring it back before the board.

No vote was taken on the matter. The Houston School Board will meet again at a special called meeting to approve a proposed ad valorem tax effort at 6:30 p.m. July 29 at the Central Office board room.

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