LSC considers opening doors to more students from outside district
‘We’d like to see LSC become the district of choice for more people,’ LSC superintendent says
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Lafayette School Corp., looking at an enrollment drop of 4.3% in the past two years, likely Monday night will loosen its transfer policies to accept students from any district.
LSC Superintendent Les Huddle told school board members at a recent work session that the move wouldn’t bring in many students for the 2022-23 school year, which is scheduled to start in a month. He said the district had about five families who’d requested spots in Lafayette classrooms this year who would otherwise be denied.
“Currently we have space,” Huddle said. “And we think we have a lot to offer.”
The move, on the school board agenda Monday night, is part of a larger strategic plan the LSC board will consider that includes potentially hiring a communications director and other efforts to, as Huddle put it, “tell the story of the Lafayette School Corp.”
LSC has a cash transfer agreement with one district now – neighboring Tippecanoe School Corp. Under that agreement, LSC accepts TSC students who want to be in Lafayette schools. Huddle said that arrangement typically puts 200 to 250 students who live in TSC boundaries in LSC classrooms. Huddle said the bulk of those students include those who started in LSC schools before their families moved to homes in TSC but wanted to continue in Lafayette or come to LSC for a specific academic program.
In those cases, state funding follows the student. The agreement is a one-way deal. TSC, which continues grapple with growth without transfers, doesn’t take LSC students.
Huddle said the policy change would open that option to other districts.
“We’d like to see LSC become the district of choice for more people,” Huddle said.
In the 2021-22 school year, according to district figures, LSC had 7,210 students, its lowest enrollment in the past decade. That was down 329 students since the 2019-20 school year.
The reason for that? Huddle said the district is still trying to narrow that down, whether it was housing issues, students leaving for private schools or home school, demographic shifts in the city or general perception of LSC.
The move comes in tandem with other LSC moves to come up with a new strategic plan and potentially hiring a communications director for the district. It also comes at a time when LSC will get more competition from Paramount Schools of Excellence-Lafayette, a K-8 charter school expected to open in fall 2023 at 1904 Elmwood Ave. (For more: “New charter school OK’d for Lafayette. Local superintendents: Why?”)
“We need to do a better job telling our story,” Huddle said.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for years,” Steve Bultinck, a school board member, said. “I say we should do this.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The Lafayette School Corp. board meets at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, at the Hiatt Administration Center, 2300 Cason St.
Other reads …
MORE ON MODEL LEGISLATION AND INDIANA GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S POST-ROE SPECIAL SESSION PREP: Indianapolis Star reporters Shari Rudavsky and Rachel Fradette pried a bit more from Indiana General Assembly leaders about post-Roe model legislation floated by Jim Bopp, an influential conservative Indiana attorney working with the National Right to Life Committee. Bopp released a 29-page memo in the days before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, offering boilerplate legislation that would include a nearly total ban on abortion, along with restrictions on sales and trafficking of day after-type prescriptions and criminalization of medical personnel and those transporting someone pregnant for an abortion. In a story published Friday, Rudavsky and Fradette reported the a spokesperson for the Indiana Senate Republicans said Bopp’s model was not the basis for whatever bill is coming when the special session starts July 25. For the full report, here’s a link to the Indianapolis Star article. So, what kind of legislation will House and Senate Republicans offer? Still a mystery.
And in case you missed it, that’s the same model legislation that Dr. Greg Loomis, Tippecanoe County’s health officer, shared with county health department staff two weeks ago, warning them about what the landscape could be soon in Indiana. Loomis’ warning then about what he called an all-in bet coming on post-Roe legislation: “At this point, I’m going with the assumption that this is not going to be the final stop with this train.” Here’s a link to that report.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF SPECIAL SESSION: Niki Kelly, editor of the new Indiana Capital Chronicle, has a good Statehouse veteran’s view of why the upcoming special session – initiated technically to deal with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s $225 rebate idea and quickly was revealed as a way to anticipate the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe – “a rarity,” as “an emergency meeting on something other than the two-year state budget.” It’s a good primer on how things could play out. Here’s a link.
SPEAKING OF THE INDIANA CAPITAL CHRONICLE: Reporter Adam Wren had a Q&A in his Importantville publication on Substack with Niki Kelly on the startup of the new Statehouse coverage enterprise. (Quick review: In its opening weeks, Capital Chronicle has been a great follow. Recommended, strongly.) I’d recommend the Q&A, too, for a better sense of what the free, nonprofit publication is about.
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