Board members voted to allow 16 students to exit the county school district to transfer to Corinth schools in the upcoming 2017-18 school year. Six students were also granted release to Prentiss County schools and one received the OK to attend the Tishomingo County School District.
Alcorn County Superintendent Larry B. Mitchell said some parents of the transferring students requested release because the district’s pre-kindergarten classes are full.
“We actually have children on waiting lists at Kossuth and Alcorn Central,” Mitchell said during the June board meeting. “We don’t know what we are going to do, because we can’t fund another class right now.”
Five children are currently on waiting lists at Alcorn Central Elementary School, while 15 remain on waiting lists at Kossuth Elementary School.
There are currently three pre-k classes at KES and two at ACES. Biggersville Elementary School also has one pre-k class. Each class can hold up to 20 children with a teacher and teacher assistant staffing each class.
Other student transfer requests were for “understandable or reasonable reasons” said Mitchell. Some requests were because of parent or guardian work situations, including some who were employed by the other district.
The district loses about $4,200 in MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program) funds each time a K-12 student transfers out of the district.
Although no funds are paid on pre-k students, board president Randy Wilbanks is concerned that once a pre-k student transfers, they may never come back.
“It’s always been once released, always released,” said board clerk Ginger Mills. “That’s the way we have always handled it.”
She added there had been a few students in the past who have attended pre-k elsewhere then returned to county schools to begin kindergarten.
The board also approved 13 in-district student transfer requests.
Board member Anne Little asked if the request form could include more information, including a reason for request.
“I think it’s in our best interest if we are transferring from one school to another to know the reason why the request is being made,” she said. “Not to keep anyone from transferring, but just to know the reason why. It would be good information to have in case we saw a trend or something that needed to be addressed.”
Mills said the change on the form would be made.