Hickman Co. Schools Limits Funding For Students Attending Outside Districts

A local school district is capping the amount of funding lost from students going to schools outside the county. Hickman County Schools will provide funding for up to 10 students each to their surrounding county districts- Fulton County, Fulton Independent Schools, Carlisle County Schools, and Graves County Schools.

The Hickman County Board of Education brought the motion up, that was unanimously passed last month, for discussion to a room of concerned parents with children attending surrounding county school districts.

Chairman Allen Kyle says the motion does not mean they’re requiring any students to come back to their school district.

“Sometimes it boils down to the money,” Kyle said.

Parents Misty and Alan Webb say they don’t want to have to move their kids from where they’ve always gone.

“For our kids, it’s more practical to go to Fancy Farm Elementary, because it’s only 10 minutes away from our house as for Hickman County it’s 28 minutes,” Misty Webb said.

Kyle says the average amount of students at other surrounding county schools is 10 to 12, but in Graves County it has recently gone up to 26.

Hickman County Schools Superintendent Casey Henderson says each student who goes outside the county costs them about $3900 a year.

“We feel that’s irresponsible as far as the budget is concerned,” Kyle said.

Kyle added their funding has been cut about $212,000 for the next school year.

The Webb’s feel this decision is also about students leaving the county to play sports.

“You know, because Graves County has more opportunities, which are boys are very involved in, pretty much every sport and Graves County, we don’t think they should have to leave all that,” Misty Webb said.

The board says they’re looking out for their district’s finances

“If we start opening the flood gates this thing could mushroom, and we have lost. We could be looking like a lot of other school districts and maybe shutting the doors. I do not want that for Hickman County,” Hickman County Board Member.

Graves County School’s PIO Paul Schaumburg provided us with a breakdown of Hickman County students attending their schools. It shows 17 students at the elementary level, 2 at the middle school, and 7 students attending the high school.

The Hickman County Board of Education says it’s up to those districts to decide whether they’ll accept more than 10 students. They said those districts could end up charging tuition or have them go for free. However, the board made it clear they did not know or have even heard about what those districts are considering.

The motion also says the board will consider transferring funding to a student under special circumstances brought up to the board on a case-by-case basis. The motion applies to, next school year.

Several other parents at the meeting say they’re upset about it, because the board is tying the hands of other school districts and not grandfathering in students. One family said they’re considering moving out of the county because of it.

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