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Schools catching more out-of-county students

Fayette County is still having issues with out-of-county students attending school here. A report heard by school board members Monday night showed that 51 students so far this school year have withdrawn after being found not to have legal residency.
Pupil Personnel Services Director Barbara Serapion told board members that of 94 referrals during the first semester a total of 51 had been determined not to be Fayette residents. The remaining 43 students, Serapion said, were determined to be legal residents after investigations into the matter were conducted.
The 54 percent withdrawal rate for the 2009-2010 school year surpasses the rate for last year when 40 students were withdrawn after 419 cases were investigated by officers, Serapion said.
“We’re being aggressive,” Serapion said. “I think we’re doing a good job so far.”
Serapion said tips pertaining to out of county students have come from both school personnel and the community.
Serapion noted that there is a cost and a cost recovery involved with investigations. The cost this year totals $750 for police investigations and $150 for employee mileage costs. That compared to a cost of $15,000 last year for police investigations, she said.
The school system to date has collected $5,096 in reimbursed tuition costs from the families of withdrawn students and has contracted to receive another $11,153.
Asked if there were particular schools or areas where the incidence of out of county students were occurring with greater frequency, Serapion said that while the situation was occurring across the school system the schools nearer the borders with other counties seemed to have a higher percentage of students without legal residency.
Serapion said that, to date, there have been no prosecutions, though she did not rule out the potential for other cases as the facts are determined. She said those with suspicions should contact either the individual school or central office.

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