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|01-15-03: Parents consider moving Franklin pupils to
different school district
|By TIMOTHY COX
The Daily Standard
Parents of students at Celina's Franklin Elementary School in Montezuma
already are looking for alternatives for when the school closes at the end of the current
Celina district officials made the announcement of the school closing
Monday night as part of a $729,000 budget reduction package approved to meet projected
budget deficits due to several recent levy failures.
But now it appears other districts will have to deal with the fallout
of the decision to close the Franklin building. District officials at Coldwater and Marion
Local schools told The Daily Standard this morning that they have been fielding telephone
calls from distraught parents wondering about education options for their children.
"We have been fielding numerous calls from parents at
Franklin," Coldwater Exempted Village Schools Treasurer Sherry Shaffer said.
Unfortunately, callers to Coldwater are informed the district does not
have open enrollment. Tuition enrollment is available at a cost of more than $2,000 per
"It's been talked about here before but the problem has always
been that Coldwater doesn't have the space," Shaffer said.
A couple of callers even asked about the local housing market in
Coldwater, Shaffer said, a sign that some may be considering a permanent move due to the
Superintendent Eric Hoffman said even after the district completes a
47,000-square-foot classroom addition in a couple of years, a decision to allow open
enrollment must be considered carefully by the school board and administration.
"It would have to be looked at very closely. There are a lot of factors that
figure into it, like our capacity and our populations at the different class levels,"
Hoffman said. Hoffman said he expects some of the hubub over the Celina decision to
dwindle as people become used to the idea.
"People are just checking out their options. If I was a parent in
that situation, I'd probably be checking out my options, too," he said.
Marion Local Schools do offer open enrollment and officials there also
have been answering calls from concerned Celina parents, a district official said this
morning. She could not quantify the number of calls received. Superintendent Andy Smith
was not available for comment this morning.
Secretary Helen Uhlenhake at St. Henry Consolidated Local Schools said
she is aware of the swirling controversy over the Franklin school, but said she knows of
no calls to that district from Celina parents. She could not rule out, however, the
possibility that someone within the district has answered such calls.
But St. Henry does not offer open enrollment. If a Celina student
wanted to transfer there, it would have to be done as a tuition student.
St. Henry Superintendent Rod Moorman also was unavailable for comment
Officials at Immaculate Conception School, a Celina parochial school,
could not be reached for comment this morning. One spokeswoman said she was not sure if
the school had received any calls from Montezuma-area parents.
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