Hooksett resident Kimberly Reagan continues to press her case for tuition reimbursement from the Hooksett School Board. Girard at Large has obtained an email invoking state requirements for a formal hearing on her request and the provision of “due process” on the question of whether or not the Hooksett School District erred in paying Bow High School the estimated base tuition rate it paid per pupil to the Manchester School District instead of the actual base tuition rate, which is comprised of all expenses minus transportation and capital costs.
Despite the language of the district’s policy and the language of the contract with Manchester, Hooksett Superintendent Charles Littlefield has maintained that the district properly paid the estimated tuition payment, rightly leaving families who sent their kids to other than Manchester schools paying the difference between that payment and the tuition charged by the non-Manchester receiving school.
Reagan has argued the language of the policy and the contract are clear on what constitutes the base tuition rate, which includes the estimated rate and any amount added to it when the total per pupil cost is assessed once all expenses have been submitted to the state. She has appeared before the board informally on multiple occasions and threatened to initiate regulatory and or legal action should the board not comply with her request. We suspect this is the first step in the process.
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Below is the email from Reagan to the Hooksett Schoo Board obtained by Girard at Large.
This email is to serve as a formal request for a hearing before your board.
We respectfully request a Formal Hearing with the Hooksett School Board.
The request is made using the state ed – ED204 which I have included at the bottom of this request.
This request is in follow up to the school board meeting of 5/17/14 and your denial of our request for Reimbursement of actual “Base Rate” expenses (as defined in your contract with Manchester #5(a) ) vs the annual beginning budget estimate of the “Base Rate” that was paid to the School Districts at the beginning of each school year. The rate paid at the beginning of each school year was the estimated budget amount not the “Base Rate” as agreed upon and presented to us in our tuition letters dated March and April of 2010.
Our families in good faith paid tuition statements to billed to us by the Bow School District. Our children attended the Bow School district from Fall of 2010 through Spring of 2014. We questioned on an annual bases the SAU office of any changes in the estimate vs the actual and was assured by the SAU office that there were none.
Consequently we have now discovered that there were indeed true-ups/final accounting reconciliations presenting the actual “Base Rate” for each year as defined in section 5 (a) of the Manchester agreement. The budget estimate and the final actual “Base Rate” numbers were provided by the Manchester school district to the Hooksett School District each year and settled with the reconciled payments by the Hooksett School District, but were not reconciled with the Bow School District.
Therefore we are requesting that we be reimbursed the true “Base Rate” as defined in the Manchester contract section 5(a) and agreed to / referenced in our tuition approval letters from 2010.
PART Ed 204 MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR DUE PROCESS BY THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD
Ed 204.01 Proceedings at the School Board Level to Resolve Disputes Between Individuals and the School System.
(a) A local school board shall adhere to the following due process procedures prior to a party filing a dispute as a contested case with the office of legislation and hearings except for disputes governed by Ed 204.02 or other rules of the board governing specific circumstances:
(1) Provide opportunity for a hearing when the legal rights, duties or privileges of a party are threatened;
(2) Provide notice of such a hearing;
(3) Conduct a hearing in a manner assuring due process;
(4) Establish an adequate record in all contested cases; and
(5) Issue timely decisions and orders.
(b) The local board shall provide an opportunity for a hearing if requested at which the following procedures shall apply:
(1) The party, together with a parent or guardian, if applicable, or legal counsel, if applicable, may waive the right to a hearing in (a), above;
(2) Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable;
(3) The hearing shall be either public or nonpublic consistent with the provisions of RSA 91-A:3, II(a); and
(4) During the hearing, the school board shall allow a party, or a designated representative of the party, to examine any and all witnesses.
(c) The local board shall include a statement that the local school board has complied with all the requirements of RSA 91-A, the state’s right to know law, including compliance with all the recordkeeping requirements of that law.
(d) The local board shall provide a written decision determined by a quorum of the local board which shall include notice that the decision may be appealed to the state board.
(e) The decision of the local board shall at a minimum, include the following:
(1) The date of the decision;
(2) A description of the issue in dispute;
(3) The board’s decision; and
(4) The rationale for the board’s decision;
(f) The written decision shall be considered a final decision at the local level.
(g) A party may appeal a final decision of the local board to the state board within 30 calendar days of receipt of the written decision of the local board, in accordance with RSA 541-A and Ed 200. The state board may waive the 30-day requirement for good cause shown, including, but not limited to, illness, accident, or death of a family member.
- #2055, eff 6-16-82; ss by #2714, eff 5-16-84; ss by #4851, eff 6-25-90; ss by #6348, eff 10-5-96, EXPIRED: 10-5-04
- #8334-A, eff 4-23-05 (from Ed 216.01)