Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Private students have public options - They can officially take part in Geneva schools’ activities

The following story appeared in the Daily Herald. Gee how nice of the "public" (government) school to let district children use the school facilities. Parents who homeschool or send their children to private schools DO pay property taxes, essentially paying tuition twice. Private schooled children are a bonus to government schools that receive taxes without the expense of these students. The policy below should not even have to exist. Parents should be able to use the schools as they see fit. School districts should not be regulating how property tax-paying parents use these schools.

Private students have public options
They can officially take part in Geneva schools’ activities

By Gala M. Pierce
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What has been practice in Geneva’s public schools turned into policy Monday.

Geneva school board members unanimously adopted a policy that would allow district students who are home-schooled or in private schools to enroll in any curricular, co-curricular or extracurricular activity in District 304.

A committee of staff members will draft guidelines that will accompany the policy in the next couple of months, Superintendent Kent Mutchler said.

“This is really an effort to come closer to compliance with state legislation,” school board President Dean Kilburg said.

It’s a growing trend, school board member Timothy Moran said.

“I think this policy gives a great deal of enlightenment to parents who might otherwise not know what this district is willing to do for those students,” Moran said.

Jane Gazdziak, assistant superintendent for curriculum, said the district already has allowed students to enroll in its programs and most of her requests relate to band activities.

Families often turn down the invitation, though, when they realize they have to provide transportation.

The policy will accommodate private students only if there’s space available and if they pay any relevant participation, tuition or materials fees. If a waiting list exists, students enrolled full time in the school will be given first priority.

It’s possible that on Geneva High School varsity teams for which students try out, such as basketball, that a private student might win a spot on the team and not a student at the high school, Kilburg said. However, the athletic director will give input on the guidelines.

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