The Spencerport Central School District’s school board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow 18 of Rochester’s first, second and sixth graders to attend schools in the district through the Urban Suburban Program this fall.
The news received mixed responses from the audience during the session.
Those who were for the move said it would bring much needed diversity, as well as added dollars to the district.
The state pays for city students on a per-student basis, which would then be paid to the suburban districts through the program.
Other members of the audience said it would be unfair to allow city students to attend Spencerport schools, when they didn’t live in, or pay taxes in, the district.
The board held public hearings, in both December and February, to gain input from Spencerport residents, and many had been divided over the issue.
However, according to school board member Gary Bracken, the board ultimately decided every child should have the chance to receive a sound education.
“We as a community that claims to be special, Spencerport’s someplace special,” Bracken stated. “If we are someplace special, then we can give that opportunity to these kids.”
Brighton, Brockport, Fairport, Penfield, Pittsford, West Irondequoit and Wheatland-Chili school districts already participate in the program, which currently includes 600 students from the Rochester City School District.