School board to consider home school policy changes

Members of the Moffat County School Board will vote on a home school regulation Thursday night that may require students to take a minimum of two classes of district curriculum.

The board voted 5-1 to table the decision at last month's meeting.

Board president Phil Hastings cast the dissenting vote because he didn't think the issue needed revision.

"I suggested that we leave the (one class) regulation alone," he said. "I didn't see any need to bring it back or make changes to it."

Home-schooled students in the district have the option to take district classes but the district doesn't receive state funding unless a student is enrolled in two classes. For each home school student who is enrolled for two classes, the district receives half of the state's per-pupil funding.

The Moffat County School District receives $5,511 per student.

Last month's stalled vote was an encouraging sign to Robin Lambert, the mother of two home-schooled children.

"I understand the need to have funding, but maybe there's something we can do besides having to take two classes," she said told board members last month.

Lambert liked that her children had the option of the taking a district class but scheduling for two classes may be too difficult to work out logistically.

Board members also are set to discuss a revised charter school application for a school in Dinosaur. The application was due and received by the district at an Oct. 1 deadline.

An informal meeting between members of the Dinosaur Charter School Steering Committee and district officials seemed positive, said both sides.

"They were real pleased with the application," said Steering Committee President Richard Blakley. "I think we'll have a few things to work on when it comes to that."

Members of the Dinosaur Charter School Steering Committee wanted to get a school online this year but the district denied the group's application because district officials said it lacked specifics of implementing curriculum and other issues.

Since that time, the group has revised its charter school application and received help from a representative of the Colorado League of Charter School organization.

The Dinosaur group has recently received a $10,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to assist start-up costs for the school, said Blakley.

"As a board member, I don't see a reason why Dinosaur would not have a charter school next year," said Hastings.

Hastings was one of the board members who voted last summer against the Dinosaur group opening a school this fall.

But he won't have the option to vote on the Dinosaur school again. Hastings and two other board members are being replaced with a new round of candidates voted into office with the Nov. 4 election.

The district is set to vote on the Dinosaur charter school application in mid-December.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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