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Chester County Press

U-CF superintendent was wrong to allow out-of-district students to enroll in schools

11/27/2013 01:09PM ● By ACL

Letter to the Editor:

John Sanville, the Superintendent of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, has admitted that he entered into a “deal” with the parents of students who live outside our school district so their children can attend U-CF schools. The “deal” made to allow out-of-district students to attend U-CF schools is ridiculous and totally irresponsible. The parents of these students obviously knew that what they were doing was wrong as they felt the need to have a deal with the U-CF School District.

Children should live within their parents' or legal guardians' primary residence. Occasional sleepovers at a friend's house are good and expected. These students have not followed this process. Sanville has been party to this activity by approving the “deal.” 

The “deal” could easily lead to a large influx of out-of-district students to start attending classes in our district. All these students apparently would need to do is spend four nights a week in our district during the school year. This could easily be accomplished by renting bedroom space from someone living in our district, or by having their children stay with friends who live in the district.

The property located in the U-CF School District owned by the parents of the students in question is a veterinary clinic. There is no evidence that the students actually slept at the clinic four school nights per week during the school year, since they enrolled in the U-CF School District in 2004.

It is clear in reviewing public records that the primary residence of the students in question is outside the U-CF School District. The students in question should be removed from our district at the end of the current semester. 

No transcripts or any student records should be provided or released until the family pays the equivalent taxes that would have been due while the children attended U-CF schools since 2004. Based on the parents' out-of-district, primary resident assessment, U-CF tax rates over the past 11 years, and penalties for late payment, I would estimate that the U-CF district is owed payment in the six-figure range. Any legal fees and any other fees associated with collection of this payment should be included in the final payment. It would be prudent for the U-CF District to place liens on all properties owned by the parents until total payment is made. 

I am concerned that Sanville has the authority to enter into deals such as this one. The  school board should approve any deals proposed by the administration, after public discussion. It is clear that our district's policies need immediate review and clarification on the matter of students attending U-CF schools from outside our district.

It is also clear that Sanville is more interested in serving an out-of-district family than he is in serving the taxpayers of the U-CF School District. Should the district continue to employ Sanville?

Bruce B. Yelton

Pocopson Township