HANCOCK — Allegany County Public Schools will continue to allow 17 high schoolers from the Little Orleans area to attend Hancock Middle-Senior High School next school year, but will no longer pay for middle-schoolers to go to the Hancock school, Allegany schools officials said Wednesday.
The Allegany County Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday morning to approve its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and that vote included money to allow current freshman, sophomores and juniors attending Hancock to continue to do so through their graduation, Allegany schools spokeswoman Mia Cross said.
Allegany middle-schoolers attending Hancock Middle-Senior High this school year will be directed to attend Washington Middle School or Fort Hill High School next school year in Cumberland, Md., Cross said.
Allegany schools officials were considering ending an agreement that allows children from the Little Orleans area, in eastern Allegany County, to attend Hancock Middle-Senior High School in neighboring western Washington County, rather than go to school in the more distant Cumberland.
The domino effect began when Garrett County officials voted to take their students back from Allegany County schools. Local public school systems get some state aid based on how many students attend their schools.
Grandfathering in current high schoolers will cost Allegany County $55,000 in transportation costs, $55,233 in tuition costs to Washington County Public Schools and a loss of $170,000 in state aid, Cross said. In permitting high schoolers to attend the Hancock school, Allegany schools will forgo $10,000 in state aid per student, she said.
Cross said Allegany schools will provide transportation to Hancock next school year for the Little Orleans teens and then re-evaluate the transportation funding for the 2012-2013 school year.