CLINTON — Citing outgoing open enrollment issues, Clinton School Board members couldn’t determine if they should re-up cooperative sports sharing agreements with the Camanche, Northeast and Central Clinton school districts. With board member Missey Sullivan-Pope absent, the board voted to deadlock at 3-3 during its April 13 discussion, which forces the tabled decision to tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
Board vice president Jack Wenzel, on April 13, said he didn’t like the idea of allowing students to leave the district only to come back to participate in Clinton High’s unique athletic opportunities. Now that statistical data has surfaced, it’s difficult to determine if sports open enrollees present the district with an issue.
“With as many kids as we have open enroll to other districts, they’re going to turn around back to our district (for sports)?” Wenzel said. “I don’t think it’s fair.”
According to data from the district, CHS had 61 athletic participants from outside the district between 2011 and 2013. The numbers don’t indicate if any of the students originally resided within district boundaries, and it’s possible that some of the participants repeated with sports each year, which would inflate the numbers.
The balance of the participants were from Prince of Peace, which is also seeking a new cooperative athletic agreement with Clinton schools. The Catholic school sent 40 students to Clinton High, with 17 participating in football and another 13 in girls soccer over the 3-year span.
Camanche comes in a distant second, totaling 14 students over the same period. Seven of the 14 played girls soccer.
There were only two instances in which Northeast participated — back-to-back years in which one student played boys tennis. And Central Clinton sent over five students for boys and girls swimming.
Excluding Prince of Peace, which board members said they don’t have an issue sharing with, the data indicates girls soccer and boys/girls swimming would be the most affected sports. Boys and girls swimming over the studied period had 11 participants from Camanche and Central Clinton. CHS girls soccer would have had four fewer participants in 2011 were it not for Camanche’s involvement.
At the same time, Wenzel and others said they don’t want to open the door for families who leave to come back and use the facilities the Clinton School District has paid to be able to provide -- especially when open enrollment cost the district $1.9 million in state-aid revenues last year.
“We still accommodate (the students) using our facilities,” Wenzel said. “If they’re going to go to school there, then they should have to use the facilities they have. There’s no sense in building facilities to have them go there and then come here for sports.”
The board convenes at 5:30 p.m. at the district administration center.
Assistant Editor Brenden West can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org