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Bill’s passage impact limited in Clinton County

By April 8, 2011No Comments

Author(s): Jackie Trier Date: April 8, 2011 Section: Local News Indiana House Bill 1003 is one step closer to becoming law. It passed in the House last week having previously passed the education committee on Feb. 16, but Clinton County students may not be as affected by the bill as students in counties with more private schools. The Crossing is not a standalone private school, and will not be taking vouchers away from public schools. “The Crossing is a private school that supports the traditional schools,” said Executive Director Rob Staley of The Crossing Educational Center. Public schools like Frankfort High School and Clinton Central High School support The Crossing in a co-op. “With a new open enrollment policy we have worked with school corporations such as Frankfort,” Staley said. “We have a verbal agreement that a student can enroll in Frankfort High School and transfer to The Crossing.” The public schools count students as being enrolled in their classes, and they provide financial support to TheCrossing. “The students who attend The Crossing from Frankfort are our students,” said FHS Principal Dr. Kay Antonelli. “We are also responsible for their scores. Their scores roll in with our scores here.” The Crossing has helped some students get back on track and they’ve returned to FHS. “We have a few students that have matriculated back,” Antonelli said. With HB 1003 as a possible new law, other arrangements may be made in the future. “Somebody may come along someday and say forget the open enrollment law,” Staley said. “If they would choose to do that, our board would entertain the idea of taking vouchers from a school that is not partnered with our school.” The Frankfort School Board voted last week to extend their school services agreement with The Crossing. HB 1003 would increase tax credits for kindergarten through high school scholarships that can be awarded from donations to a scholarship organization, and it limits organizations that grant scholarships to families by setting an income cap. It makes it easier for low income students to find scholarships to pay for tuition and fees at public or private elementary or high schools that charge tuition. Local public schools have already worked this out. “For each student that comes here, some of the state money does come from the public school,” said Campus Coordinator Marissa Mills of The Crossing of Clinton County. Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett released a statement regarding the passing of the bill. “This bold move is a critical piece of our comprehensive efforts to transform the current culture in our school,” Bennett said. “I hope today’s action on HB 1003 is a positive indication of even more good things to come for Indiana’s students.” HB 1003 was authored by Republican state Rep. Robert Behning and is sponsored by Republican Sens. Dennis Kruse and Carlin Yoder.]]>