School district’s charter obligation diminishes
The Tahoe-Truckee school district may get a break on part of a million-dollar obligation due area charter schools.
A review of the California Education Code revealed the district was not responsible to provide funding for 20 students who reside in El Dorado County and do not attend Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.
The finding will save the district approximately $110,000 this year, said Superintendent Steve Jennings.
But, the students and their families are without funding for the moment.
“We are working on that and looking at what our options might be,” said Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen.
Funding is important, she said, but Hermansen has other big-picture concerns.
“My primary goal is to make sure that the students receive the education in the manner that their families have chosen and so we are looking for solutions in order to make that happen,” Hermansen said.
In February, officials at the Tahoe Truckee Unified district learned of their obligation to pay more than $1.2 million to Nevada County’s Office of Education for 200 students within its geographic boundaries.
Because the district has basic aid status, it is required to pay the charter school funding equal to the statewide average for charter school revenue, in order to educate students that reside within its boundaries, according to a letter posted on the district’s Web site.
The students either attend the two Forest Charter schools located in Truckee and the West Shore of Lake Tahoe or are Twin Ridges home study students also residing in the Tahoe Truckee’s geographic boundaries, Hermansen said.
Officials within the district found that the education code allowed exclusions of funding based on locations of counties in relation to the Placer County-based district.
The Nevada County education office filed a waiver with California Department of Education in March but was denied, according to Hermansen.
The school district’s remaining obligation will be due annually, and officially started when the Nevada County education office chartered Forest Charter school for the 2007-08 school year, according to Jennings.
Officials are looking to lessen the financial burden even further, Jennings said.
“We are looking to see if there was any way to make a legal challenge,” he said.
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