ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 50
POLICY CODE: JF
Maine law (Title 20-A, M.R.S.A. Section 5205, sub 6) states that two superintendents may approve the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another if they find that a transfer is in the best interest of the student and the student’s parent approves.
As superintendents grapple with these sometimes challenging decisions, They should be reminded of two key considerations:
- Transfer decisions must be guided by considering the student’s best interest (funding and other considerations do not play a role); and
- Maine law specifically empowers superintendents to approve student transfers. The final decision should rest with the superintendents, not school boards or others.
The law also provides for Commissioner review of transfers, upon the request of the parent of a student requesting transfer under this section of the law. Commissioner reviews are on a case-by-case basis, again guided by consideration of a student’s best interest.
- Decisions are to be considered on an individual basis and be guided by the student’s best interest;
- When a request is made of either superintendent, consultation between the two needs to take place before a decision is made. A transfer request should be initiated with the superintendent of the school administrative unit of residence;
- In any correspondence to the parent/guardian, there should be a reminder that an approval is subject to an annual review by the superintendents;
- Reasons for decisions should be included in the correspondence to the parent/guardian;
- The receiving superintendent should not enroll the student while a review by the Commissioner is pending.
Department of Education:
- If a parent appeals a superintendent transfer decision to the Commissioner, the Department will conduct a review including, but not be limited to, notifying and conferring with both superintendents and the parent/guardian;
- Appeals will be completed in a timely fashion;
- Superintendents and the parent/guardian will be notified of all transfer appeal decisions in writing as soon as possible;
- In deciding on renewal of a superintendent agreement, a review of the best interest of the child will include consideration of the need for consistency in a student’s educational progress;
- If a parent/guardian elects to enroll a child in a public school outside the school administrative unit of residence or in a private school, pending the outcome of a review by the Commissioner, the parent/guardian must do so at his/her own expense.
Please feel free to contact Edwin N. Kastuck, Ph.D., at 207-624-6776, or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.