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Student cleared to attend career center

School Board members determined homeschooled students can attend the county technology center

School Board members determined homeschooled students can attend the county technology center

January 16, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Robin Shipman, a mother of four children, all of whom she teaches at home, went to the Waynesboro School Board meeting this week expecting a fight to get her 15-year-old son enrolled in the Franklin County Career and Technology Center in Chambersburg, Pa.

Shipman told the board members that while her son had been accepted for enrollment in the tech school she was told she needed a letter from Barry Dallara, Waynesboro schools superintendent, before her son could begin to take classes.

Shipman said she has been trying since September to get the letter.

Shipman's request triggered a long discussion among board members that ended with the board authorizing Dallara to sign such letters.

The board's discussion cleared up the question of whether homeschooled children can be allowed to take classes at the tech school, which serves public school students in grades 10-12 from Franklin County's five school districts.

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According to Dallara, four homeschooled students from Waynesboro are enrolled in the tech center.

Dallara said he needed direction from the board on future requests from parents who homeschool. "I haven't signed any letters since April," he said. "Tell me what to do."

Board member Steve Kulla said if the board turns down a request for a tech center education from a parent who homeschools, it would cost the board $2,800 more if the parents opt to send their child to the public school system.

It costs the district about $4,200 to send a student to the tech school, he said.

It costs the district about $7,000 to educate each student in its public schools, board members said.

Board member Leland Lemley, reading from the board's policy manual, said homeschooled children are the same as those taught in the public schools. "They're considered to be public school students who are just taught in a different location," he said.

Board member Nelson Rock said parents who homeschool their children pay taxes like everyone else and should be allowed to send their children to the tech center.

The board agreed that its policies concerning homeschooled students need to be clarified to determine which programs are open to them.

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