By the time the meeting of the House Bil 90 convened, the sun had been set for 20 minutes. Gusty winds reminded all as they walked from their cars to the front door, that fall was indeed the harbinger of winter, and that colder times were approaching. Leaves still clung stubbornly to the trees surrounding the meeting room at Buena Vista…
After the minutes were read, and other details covered, Kim Williams began to read the questions on charter school applications that are used to screen applicants….
It sort of went like this….
Race of The Student?
Specifically whether the student is a Hispanic/ Latino?
Student’s Social Security Number?
Student’s Federally Approved Current and Non-expired State photo ID?
Student on IEP?
Student on 504 Plan?
Student a US Citizen?
Name all languages spoken in your home?
Where was student born?
Where does the father of the student work?
Where does the mother of the student work?
Does student have any health problems?
Do either of the parents have any health problems?
Are the parents of the student currently married?
If not, are they separated or are they divorced?
Was the child born in wedlock?
With which parent does the child currently live?
If not with a parent, with whom does your child live?
Has the child ever repeated a grade?
Is the child eligible for any state services?
Does the child receive Occupational Therapy? Or hearing support? Or Speech Therapy? Or counseling?
Does the child take medication?
Does the child need to wear glasses or a hearing aid?
Has the parent or guardian ever worked on a farm, in the fields, or in a factory with fruits, vegetables, or animals?
Has the parent or guardian every worked with watermelons, potatoes, mushrooms, corn, applies, chicken, or shellfish?
Has the family changed homes the last three years?
Will the child need provided transportation to and from school and to school activities?
Please check which if any of the following sports, your child has a solid verifiable skills.
How do you feel this school will best serve the interests of your child?
Please include the following with your applications. birth certificate, copy of the parent or students social security card, medical records, proof of residence, most recent report card, etc., etc.,etc.
As these were read, there was a lot of glancing around. Eye contact with looks of incredulity. Aren’t most of these questions illegal?
The discussion resumed. The charter and VoTech representatives were unfazed and were full of justifications why their school needed extra information. They batted down question after question with answers as to why they needed to know this information regarding any students placed under their care…..
Kim Williams then spoke:
“That’s fine, but why do you need that information BEFORE the admission decision has been made? Why can’t you collect it AFTER admission?”
The silence was both revealing and deafening…. Everyone caught their breath at the same time….
Right then. Outside, in a tree nearby on the bucolic grounds surrounding the 2nd Governor’s mansion of the state…. a Crow cawed three times. It was so close, all could hear its heavy wings as it flapped away; its work done for the day…..