Four pupils came to district in 2012-13, but 82 left

Forest Grove is coming out the loser in the two-year-old law allowing Oregon students to open-enroll in school districts other than their own.

A 2012-13 summary report presented at Monday night’s Forest Grove School Board meeting shows the district lost a total of 82 students, while only gaining four. Of those students, 19 transferred to Banks, 38 to Gaston and three to Newberg.

The loss of state funding to the district caused by the transfers — about $6,000 per student — has been a concern of local board members since the law, House Bill 3681 went into effect in January 2012.

The board also unanimously approved a proposed $4 million conversion of the district’s diesel-powered bus fleet to liquid propane fuel. Mid-Columbia Bus Co., which provides the district’s transportation services, will replace 36 buses in the next five years, with 10 placed in service this year. The conversion plan shows a cost savings to the district over the next 10 years of an estimated $407,887.

Board members also approved a revised personal communications device policy, which makes it clear staff use must not disrupt classes while using phones, computers or social media and emphasized their “appropriate and professional” use.

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