Friday, October 11, 2013
Maine grants parents the right to request a transfer to a school in a different district when the parent believes doing so is in the best interests of the child. That request, however, requires that the superintendents to acquiesce. A new amendment strengthens parents' rights. It requires superintendents who reject parents' requests to explain their rationale in writing. In addition, parents have the right to appeal the denial to the state department of education. Of the 143 appeals filed this year, 139 have overturned the superintendent and granted the transfer. Regardless of the underlying merits of the transfer law, these numbers suggest the state is wasting everyone's time by requiring superintendents to write a report and the department to review them, unless the thinking is that the department will become more deferential to principals when they provide reasoned bases for their decisions. More here.