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Hall schools update policy on students in annexed areas
New verbiage clarifies where students can attend
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To avoid any future confusion, the Hall County Board of Education updated language to a policy it has had in place for years.

Board policy JBCCA-11 previously stated that any students who were residents of county property annexed into the City of Gainesville after Oct. 20, 1992, may continue to attend Hall County schools.

The county and the city had a 15-year tax-sharing agreement after said property was annexed. The agreement expired in 2007, but was renewed. The new agreement will expire in 2018.

"Actually, it isn't a change in the policy," said Lee Lovett, deputy superintendent of Hall schools. "It is an update on the policy. This is what we have been doing since 2007."

The update now clarifies that students "who reside in areas which are annexed into the corporate limits of the City of Gainesville subsequent to the intergovernmental agreement ... will be treated as resident students."

Those students, however, have the choice to attend Gainesville City schools at no cost, if the city board "decides to allow any such student to attend."

There was some confusion, although sparingly, when people moved into those areas annexed by the city, including property near Johnson High School.

The board noticed the vague language and decided to update it.

"In reviewing our policy, we saw that it hadn't been updated and we're just updating it," said Lovett.

Lovett said he will get calls about once or twice a year involving students who are confused as to which system they will attend. Most of those have been people who moved into the area and had been told wrong by real estate agents.

Students who have lived in the area prior to June 1, 2007, are allowed to continue to attend Hall County schools until the student "voluntarily transfers, withdraws or graduates."

"It's not a change in policy, it's a change in verbiage," Lovett said. "It's making the policy equal the procedure."

The policy will remain open for public comment for 30 days before being voted on by the board.


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