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Hardin- Allegany must pay the cost of pupils

July 19, 2000

Hardin- Allegany must pay the cost of pupils



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


A Washington County Board of Education member says the board may vote against Allegany County students attending school in Hancock if Allegany won't pay Washington County the full cost of educating each student.

Board member J. Herbert Hardin said he plans to meet with Allegany County School Board members to discuss a possible move but said he'll vote against the proposition if Allegany County won't pay the more than $6,000 cost per pupil.

Allegany County Schools Superintendent John O'Connell has said his board would pay about $2,500.

"We need to look at it per students," Hardin said. "The last statement on what they were offering is less than what we pay for our children. That would make it unmanageable. That wouldn't be fair to the taxpayers. We need to be fairly compensated."

Hardin said he is hopeful that something can be worked out when members of both boards meet to discuss options. He said he hopes a meeting can be set soon.

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Allegany County parents have said they'd consider filing a lawsuit if their children were not permitted to attend school in Hancock.

Cost per pupil reflects the average cost of providing educational and related services to the students of each local school system. It includes expenditures such as administration, student transportation, student personnel services, textbooks and other instructional materials, special education and equipment.

The Allegany County School Board voted last week to look into busing 62 students across the county line to Hancock, a step parents say would cut down on the time students spend on the bus.

The students, in grades six to 12, are from the Little Orleans area east of M.V. Smith Road near Interstate 68. They would spend about 45 minutes on the bus if they were taken to Hancock Middle-Senior High School, rather than more than an hour if they went to Fort Hill in Cumberland, Md.

Little Orleans parent Greg Rinker has said the Allegany County School Board figure for students to be bused is a little high and that about 50 students would go to Hancock, not 62.

Board member B. Marie Byers said busing students across county lines could benefit Allegany students, but the issue needs to be discussed further by both boards.

"It definitely should be explored," she said. "Other counties are doing it."

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