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Converting to a charter district would allow Corbett to coninue to educate out-of-district students

OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO - Half the students in Corbett schools come from outside the district. Converting to a charter district would allow that to continue. The Corbett School District on Wednesday posted a lengthy explanation on its web page about the proposal to make the entire district a charter now that the law allowing students to attend schools outside their district has ended.

Almost half the students in Corbett schools come from outside the district.

Converting to a charter district would allow non-district students to continue to attend Corbett schools after the law change.

The Corbett school board will discuss the idea of converting to a charter district during the next regular board meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16. Public comments can be made at this meeting in the schools' multipurpose room, 35800 E. Historic Columbia River Highway.

The district has argued that the money out-of-district students bring in is necessary to offer all students a complete education.

Superintendent Randy Trani said in the website posting that the issue is a complex one and there are various scenarios that could apply to the situation.

"If anyone is interested in walking through these scenarios I am happy to spend time in person helping folks understand the pressures our Board faces when trying to balance the academic needs of resident students with the overall size of our district," he said, encouraging those with questions to email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The district post asks a series of questions such as, "In a mostly resident district, did we have a higher graduation rate than we do now? Did we have more course opportunities back then than we do now? Was the average GPA as high then as it is now? Were services for students with disabilities more robust then compared to now?"

All answers were "no," except for one question that asked if traffic around Corbett was better, for which the answer was "yes."

The district is in the middle of an evaluation by Rob Saxton, an outside consultant. This evaluation was prompted by a citizen's group called Independent Citizens for Sustainable School Solutions, or IC3S. The group holds public meetings on the future of Corbett schools, and Saxton's report is scheduled to be presented at an IC3S meeting in mid-February, which has yet to be scheduled.

District administrators and the school board will have to come up with a plan for the district's future by spring, when the schools need to craft and finalize a budget for the 2019-20 school year.

There are 19 charter school districts in the state including Fossil, Prospect and Cove.


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