PITTSBURG — Pittsburg USD 250 began discussion on the Out of State Student Policy on Monday at its regular board meeting.

The Out of State Policy comes from a House Substitute for Senate Bill No. 61 by Committee on Appropriations-Amending Substitute for Senate Bill No. 423 “to strike provisions requiring school districts to adopt a minimum local option budget; restoring certain provisions relating to local option budgets and adjusting the BASE aid accordingly,” a release from the school district said.

During the board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Rich Proffitt said there are 19 out of state students who are currently enrolled in the district.

According to the release from the USD 250, families that this policy will effect have been contacted and the district will make every effort to work with them moving forward.
“There are people who live right across the border that consider Pittsburg their hometown,
 Proffitt said. “They come shop here, they want to send their kids here and we welcome them.”

Proffitt said he has talked to other superintendents in Crawford County and Cherokee County.  “We would like the policy to be as similar as we possibly can with one another with how we talk about this but, it’s going to be your [each board’s] decision on how we do it,” he said to the board.

According to Proffitt, starting next year, if there is an out of state student, the district can receive 75 percent of BASE, the third year it drops to 50 percent and after that, it drops to zero.

There are two criteria in which the district can still maintain funding, Proffitt said. The first criteria is if the student’s parent or legal guardian is an employee at the school district. The other criteria is if a student attended public school in Kansas during the 2016-2017 school year, and have attended public school in the preceding school year, 2015-2016.

Also of discussion was the recent education bill, Senate Bill 16, which Governor Laura Kelly signed last week. The bill would provide to Kansas schools additional funds for the next four years, Proffitt said. According to a release from the Governor, the bill will “inject $90 million more into our public schools.”

“A lot of people believe that it brings us up to maybe not where we should be, but pretty close,” Proffitt said.

According to Proffitt, the bill is good news for the district because Kansas State Department of Education can begin putting budget documents together and then the school district can also begin formulating its budget in June rather than having a 10-day period in July.
Proffitt said there a couple of policy requirements which are attached to the bill. He said most of the changes are about accountability, much of it is information which is shared on the district’s website.

“One of the big things is going to be — already do some of this already — we are going to have to specifically show what programs that we are spending our at risk dollars on to help at risk students,” Proffitt said.

In other business, the board was updated on the Pittsburg Community Middle School gym project and the Pittsburg High School projects. The board took a tour of PCMSs new gym on Monday then returned to the Board of Education Office, where they then approved the new gym equipment for the facility.

The board  also approved the bid from Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative. The district will change service providers from Cox Communications to Craw-Kan on July 1 for the total cost of $312,000 to be paid out evenly over the 60 month agreement, plus the one time cost of the fiber optic modules from CxTec for $4,418.91.

A new PHS assistant principal was approved. The information regarding the new hire will be released when available.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.