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Swapping schools: Logan, Cache districts accommodate requests

May 2nd, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Tara Alvey

LOGAN — Kirk McRae doesn’t have the easiest job in the world. He is the director of the human resources department for Cache County School District. And although McRae’s job might not be listed as one of the most stressful professions of all time, any job involving parents, their children, and their children’s education and future is bound to be a little tense at times.

“Education is important,” McRae said. “Parents just want what’s best for their children, and that includes making sure they get the best education possible.”

And sometimes, getting the best education might mean transferring to another school in a different school district.

Cache Valley is unique in the fact that it has two separate school districts located within the valley, in close proximity to each other. Besides Cache County School District, the valley also includes Logan City School District. Mountain Crest High School and Sky View High School are both part of Cache County School District, while Logan High School is part of Logan City School District.

According to Mike Liechty, deputy superintendent of Cache County School District, in order for a student to transfer from one school district to another, parents of that student must submit a request.

“Considering the number of students there are in Cache Valley, we don’t get very many of these requests,” said Liechty. “However, if a student wants to transfer, a request form must be filled out and turned in.”

McRae agrees with Liechty that there are a relatively low number of transfers within the valley.

“I would say that every year we get about 75 to 120 requests for transfers,” said McRae. “Of these requests, about half come at the beginning of the year and half come in the middle of the school year.

“Requests to transfer are actually easier to approve at the secondary-school level,” he said. “Elementary schools fill up very quickly and obviously there are more elementary level schools, so parents have more of a choice and preference. So filling requests at an elementary level can get a little tricky, but we do our best.”

Should a student wish to merely transfer schools, but not districts, the process is much simpler.

“Luckily, we have it built into the system that almost every school is open-enrollment from November to February, so as long as you register early enough, you can pretty much go to whichever school you want to, as long as it’s within the same district,” said McRae.

However, just because some transfers are easy, that doesn’t mean they all are.

“Students transferring from a completely different part of the state or even out-of-state are the hardest requests to accommodate,” said McRae. “A lot of factors such as transportation and property tax come into play when we’re dealing with a big transfer like that.”

The property tax paid by a child’s parents normally goes to the school district their property is located in. However, said McRae, some exceptions may be made in the case of transfer students.

“The issue of property taxes following a student rarely comes up,” said McRae. “But when it does, we try to accommodate the parents’ wishes, we never enforce a decision either way. There are some provisions in the law that we have to follow, so mostly we just try and follow what is outlined in the law and it all takes care of itself.

“The most important thing is that we try and take care of every parent and student that comes into our office,” said McRae. “We want to do all we can to help. The education and success of students is our main concern and that’s what we try to focus on.


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