Requests to leave Pasco schools outstrip applications to transfer in
Requests to transfer schools across county lines continue to stream into Pasco County as the first day of classes nears.
Pasco remains a net exporter of students, records indicate, with 1,524 children looking to leave -- mostly to Hillsborough and Pinellas counties -- and 327 students asking to enter. The latest round of requests shows that the majority of transfers into Pasco are to charter schools, particularly Countryside Montessori in Land O'Lakes and the new Pepin Academies in New Port Richey. (See details here.)
Pasco district officials have not questioned the migration patterns, which often have a lot to do with parent work commutes, because the net result has been to alleviate crowding. The advent of class-by-class counts for the state class size amendment had raised concerns that districts receiving more kids than they sent elsewhere, such as Hillsborough, would not be able to continue the inter-district agreement as schools filled up.
That has not yet happened.
In fact, Pasco leaders lately have been talking about ways to keep more students in their classrooms by creating more attractive academic options, such as magnet programs, as the district prepares to build new schools. The better the public schools become, the less families will want to leave them, School Board vice chairman Steve Luikart said.