Just because a student goes to St. Joseph Catholic School doesn't mean the Warren County School District has no responsibility for them.
In the instance of special education Title I funding, the district still has to provide the services.
And they are in the process of figuring out how to do it.
WCSD Director of Secondary Education Amanda Hetrick informed the school board's Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee on Monday night that the district typically contracts with Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 to provide Title I services, particularly reading and math remediation, to students at St. Joseph.
Intermediate Units "operate as regional educational service agencies providing cost-effective, management-efficient programs to Pennsylvania's 501 public school districts and over 2,400 non-public and private schools," according to the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units.
Hetrick said that all private schools in the district can have Title I services paid for by the district but "they (St. Joseph) are the only one who takes us up on the offer."
Hetrick said on Thursday that the services provided to St. Joseph total approximately $12,000.
"In my conversation with the IU, they feel it is not financially advantageous to provide those services for us," she added, indicating that the district will now be required to provide the services on its own.
For a solution, Hetrick said that the district is looking to contract with an individual in a similar way that it has contracted with the IU in the past.
"Is our requirement to provide service or can we give money to provide the service?" board member John Grant asked.
"We can do it either way," Hetrick replied.
With the "in kind contribution" that the district makes in administrative time facilitating the service, "Why can't we just have them write a check (to St. Joseph)?" Grant asked.
"We have to do a lot of reporting (and) tracking," Hetrick said. "I've not thought about doing it that way."
She added that the district can accept six percent for administration and Superintendent Brandon Hufnagel said that the district should retain that portion.
A contract option will likely be presented to the full board for action at its Sept.12 meeting so not to delay the start of services any further into the school year.
For the 2012-2013 school year, the district estimated its allocation of Title I funding at $1,275,330, all federal funding that is given to the state and then proceeds to individual school districts. That funding is allocated to cover costs for a host of things, including K-4 math instruction, K-3 reading instruction, professional development, parental involvement activities, support for students classified as neglected or homeless, administrative oversight and clerical support, programming supplies, 16 aides and 11 teachers.