Waynesboro supports tutor vouchers

November 13, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Parents of elementary school children who are lagging behind in reading, math and language skills can pick up a check for up to $500 to pay for a private tutor for their children under a new state funding program announced at the Waynesboro Area School Board meeting Tuesday.

Called Classroom Plus, the money will come to the local district through the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Pennsylvania's share will be $23.6 million and is expected to take care of more than 47,000 children across the state, said Sheri Diller, director of elementary education for the Waynesboro Area School District.

"It's part of the federal No Child Left Behind program," Diller said.

She didn't know how many local children would be eligible for the program.

"Right now there are more than we can find tutors for," Diller said.

Eligibility will be determined by classroom teachers. Parents will have to fill out a simple application form to get the money.


The checks go directly to the parents, but they then will have to turn the money over to the school district that provides the teachers. Parents will be able to choose which teachers will tutor their children. They can choose from their local school district, from another district or a teacher who happens not to be in any district, provided their names are on the certification list, Diller said.

The Waynesboro Area School District will participate in the program, Diller said. Teacher aides also will participate, and substitute teachers also will be added to the list, she said.

While the program statewide is available for students in grades three through six, Waynesboro will limit it to those in grades four through six at first, Diller said.

She said the program has proven to be successful in other school districts and the fact that parents are paid directly has not posed many problems.

"The money is there for anyone who wants to take advantage of it," Diller said.

The tutoring will be done in the afternoon after regular classes are finished.

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