Some Region 8 schools seeing boom in transfer requests as deadline nears

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Friday was the official last day of school for many Region 8 students and quite possibly their last day at the only district, until now,  they've been able to attend. That's because Governor Beebe recently signed a bill into law removing race as a factor for student transfers between school districts. Now one school is seeing a surge in applications to "opt in".

"The last two or three years, they didn't approach us as much because they knew they couldn't get in," Valley View Schools Superintendent, Radius Baker said.

That's not the case this year, though. After Beebe signed Act 1227 into Arkansas law, Valley View has had 126 applications from parents opting their children into the school.

"Probably 20 are already attending. They've moved out of the district maybe and so they want to stay in the district," Baker explained. However, that still leaves a high number for new possible students. "We probably have 95."

Applicants from all over Region 8.

"We have some coming from Greene County Tech, some from Newport," Baker told Region 8 News. "But most of them are coming from Jonesboro and Nettleton and surrounding schools," he said.

Baker has even had requests from different states. The requests are across the board on grade levels as well.

"Twenty something kindergarten students. We had almost 20 first grade students and almost 20 second grade students."

A few requests have been made for junior high and senior high students too.

"They're studying the school districts and they're deciding on Valley View and I think that says a lot," Baker said. "They all say that we have a good reputation and that they want to be a part of Valley View school."

Though they've received a high number of requests, Act 12-27 caps the number of transfers allowed from one district in a year to no more than 3 percent of the district's student population.

For Valley View, that equals about 75 open spots for students.

Baker said he feels the number of people interested in coming though means a lot for his district.

"The new students that we're having in Valley View School and wanting to attend, I think that says a lot for our school and our community."

The deadline to opt out of your current school district is June 1.

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