Santa Fe school board to vote on transfer policy

February 20, 2019

The Santa Fe school board is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would alter the district’s transfer policy by giving added priority to students with a parent or guardian who works near a school.

The board is set to meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Educational Services Center at 610 Alta Vista St. The transfer proposal is one of the items on its agenda.

Board member Kate Noble’s proposal would become part of the algorithm that determines the results of the district’s transfer lottery for the 2020-21 school year. For the 2019-20 school year, 727 students in Santa Fe Public Schools have applied to transfer schools through the lottery program.

Students looking to transfer out of school with an F rating, into a school their sibling attends, or to a school that employs their parent or guardian, would still take priority over other students seeking to transfer under the new policy.

Noble’s proposal would give those whose parent or guardian works near a school priority over transfer applicants whose parents do not.

At the Feb. 5 board meeting, members voted 3-1 to approve the first read of the policy change. Board member Lorraine Price, who represents central Santa Fe in District 5, was absent from that meeting. Board Vice President Maureen Cashmon, from District 2 on the south side, was the only member to vote against the proposal.

Noble, who represents the northwest District 3, has identified E.J. Martinez Elementary, which is less than a mile from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, as the best example of a school that could benefit from the new transfer policy.

In recent years, the district has talked about closing the school. Noble said the policy alteration would entice hospital employees to enroll their children at E.J. Martinez, which would in turn increase its community support.