Recruitment & Retention

Tiny Iowa District Trolling for Pupils

By Jessica L. Tonn — March 13, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Officials from the Manson Northwest Webster Community School District in Manson, Iowa, expected to upset some people in neighboring counties by sending out a mass mailing encouraging the counties’ residents to transfer their children to the 700-student district under the state’s open-enrollment policy.

And school district leaders say they won’t stop sending such mailings.

According to Superintendent Mark Egli, several families have expressed interest in transferring their children—and their roughly $5,000 apiece in state aid—to the district after the mailing went out last month.

None of the families lives in the Pomeroy-Palmer Community School District, the small nearby district worried that it would lose some of its fewer than 225 students.

But the three-page mailing has drawn a busload of controversy—including a rebuke from the state department of education saying that the district gave the appearance of trying to rob Pomeroy-Palmer of its share of state resources.

Under state law, parents can enroll students in any district, regardless of where they live. State aid follows the student to the new district.

Manson Northwest Webster’s promotion included a letter from its school board touting the “many positive attributes” of the district and warning that “the future for education in this area of Iowa likely holds mergers and reorganization of our school districts.” It also contained an open-enrollment application and instructions.

“Including the application was probably the mistake,” said Mr. Egli. “We knew [the mailing] would make some people upset, but we thought it would probably just hit the wastebasket.”

Although the district did not violate state law by sending the materials, a lawyer for the state education department sent an e-mail to district officials shortly after learning about the mailing expressing the department’s disappointment. In a public statement, the department cited the importance of districts’ being “good neighbors that collaborate and cooperate in the effort to provide quality education to Iowa’s students.”

But Mr. Egli says that his district does not intend to stop promoting open enrollment.

“We’ll just do it a little differently next time,” he said.

A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Recruitment & Retention What the Research Says 4 Keys to Building a Pipeline From High School to the Teaching Profession
A statewide career-tech program in Maryland shows promise to expand and diversify the pool of new educators. Here's how.
5 min read
Image of high school students working together in a school setting.
E+/Getty
Recruitment & Retention Opinion ‘Grow Your Own’ Teacher Programs Are Misguided
Such recruiting initiatives wind up prioritizing the needs of education systems rather than those of students.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Recruitment & Retention Retention Is the Missing Ingredient in Special Education Staffing
Many special education teachers switch to other teaching positions. Districts are exploring ways to keep them in the needed role.
9 min read
A teacher putting her arms around her students, more students than she can manage herself. A shortage of Special Education teachers.
Nicole Xu for Education Week
Recruitment & Retention Signing Ceremonies Honor Students Who Want to Be Teachers
In a growing number of schools across the country, student-athletes aren't the only ones in the spotlight. Future teachers are, too.
7 min read
The advisers of Baldwin County High School’s chapter of Future Teachers of Alabama pose with the seniors who are committed to a career in education in April 2024. From left to right, they are: Chantelle McPherson, Diona Davis, Molly Caruthers, Jameia Brooks, Whitney Jernigan, Derriana Bishop, Vickie Locke, and Misty Byrd.
The advisers of Baldwin County High School’s chapter of Future Teachers of Alabama pose with seniors who are committed to a career in education in April 2024. From left to right: Chantelle McPherson, Diona Davis, Molly Caruthers, Jameia Brooks, Whitney Jernigan, Derriana Bishop, Vickie Locke, and Misty Byrd.
Courtesy of Baldwin County High School