Addressing the issue of extensive travel times for students attending certain rural schools, Delegates Mike Caputo (D-Marion), Ron Fragale (D-Harrison), Linda Longstreth (D-Marion) and Tim Manchin (D-Marion) have introduced legislation that would allow the State Superintendent to establish School Choice Zones. These zones would be developed in order to expedite the process of transferring students who wish to attend a closer school located in an adjacent county.
“Often times there are students who live on the edge of a county and must ride a school bus for 40 or 50 minutes in order to attend the school located in their county,” stated Delegate Caputo. “But the adjacent county’s school may only be a 10 minute bus ride away. We need to develop an expeditious process that allows parents and students to decide which school they want to attend.”
The legislation, House Bill 2463, would permit the State Superintendent to develop the School Choice Zones based upon multiple appeals from parents who wish to transfer their children to a different school outside the county.
“Right now, the law allows parents to file appeals in order to transfer their children to another school, but if the county doesn’t want to cut that student loose, the parents are stuck,” added Caputo. “This bill not only strengthens parents’ choice, but also addresses areas that have numerous families who wish to reduce their children’s travel time on school buses. We can locate certain geographical areas where this is a problem and create policies to meet the needs of our students.”