Board Member Uses School Choice For Transfers
FARMINGTON — Every year, many children are allowed to transfer from their home district to a nonresident district through the Arkansas Public School Choice Program.
Farmington School Board member Wade Cash has transferred his three children to Prairie Grove School District through this program.
Cash, who was elected to Farmington School Board in September 2015, confirmed Thursday his children are now attending Prairie Grove schools.
He said he did not want to get into the reasons for the move but said he would be glad to discuss his reasons with anyone face to face.
“It was a better situation for all three of my kids over there,” Cash said. “I have one shot with my kids to do what’s best for them.”
Cash said he plans to serve the remainder of his five-year term, which runs through September 2020.
He sent the following comment by email, “I will continue to serve on the board to fulfill my commitment. I have many friends and family in the district that I look forward to continuing to represent.”
The Public School Choice Act of 2015 was established to enable a student in kindergarten-12th grade to attend a school in a nonresident district, subject to some limitations
as established in state law and with the Arkansas Department of Education.
All school districts are required to participate and applications are submitted on behalf of students to the nonresident school district. The deadline to apply each year is May 1.
The law allows districts to adopt specific standards for acceptance and rejection of applications. One example would be the capacity of the population in a program, class, gravel level or school building.
Prairie Grove accepted 35 applications from students to transfer into the district through the School Choice law, according to the Prairie Grove Superintendent’s office.
Farmington School District accepted 76 students through School Choice and denied three applications because of capacity, said a representative with the Superintendent’s office.
Bryan Law, Farmington school superintendent, last week said he preferred not to comment about Cash’s decision to transfer his children.
“I think any comments need to be made by him,” Law said, referring to Cash.
Farmington School Board President Jeff Oxford said every parent has to do what they feel is best for their children.
“I’m going to continue to do what I can to help the school district,” Oxford said. “This is an exciting time. We’ve opened up a new high school. We’re going to continue to focus on improving the educational and overall experiences of the students in our school district. And at the same time being mindful of the way we spend the patron’s money to accomplish this.”
Oxford said he had to admit he was somewhat concerned with Cash moving his children to Prairie Grove but noted, “Mr. Cash has not spoken to me about the reasons behind it.”
In a profile submitted to the Enterprise-Leader for the 2015 school board election, Cash wrote, “I have lived in Northwest Arkansas my whole life. When we were deciding on where to raise our children we could have moved anywhere but we made a calculated decision to choose the Farmington School District based on its size, location, and school system. Many families are moving into the district for the same reasons and I would like to preserve the reasons that so many of us have chosen Farmington Schools.”
Cash defeated incumbent Tony Parsley in the September 2015 school election.