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Youth camp, school board hope for deal

February 13, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro School Board and VisionQuest, a residential camp for at-risk youths in South Mountain, Pa., are seeking a tuition waiver from the state that could save the school district about $100,000 a year in tuition for disruptive students.

School Board President Larry Glenn said Wednesday that because VisionQuest is in the Waynesboro School District, the district is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as the local financial agency that funnels tuition payments to the camp from other school districts that send students there.

Tuition runs around $6,000 a year for each student sent there.

VisionQuest officials are asking the school board to seek a waiver from the state that would allow the camp to raise tuition to around $9,000 a year to cover its instructional costs, Glenn said.

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In return, Waynesboro would be able to send its disruptive students to VisionQuest on a day-school basis for about $6,000 a year tuition, Glenn said.

Waynesboro has from 15 to 20 students who need the alternative class program at any given time during the year, he said.

If everything works out, the district would be able to end an agreement with Cornell-Abraxas, another alternative education program in South Mountain.

The school board has a contract with Abraxas for 18 slots at $14,400 a year for each slot whether they are used or not.

Schools Superintendent Barry Dallara told the board members this week that a few more details need to be ironed out with VisionQuest officials before the board can vote on seeking the waiver from the state.

A final vote could come at the board's meeting Tuesday, Dallara said.

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