When they met Wednesday, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education discussed a proposed residency requirement for at least some of the school district's administrators.
A proposed residency policy was on the agenda for a second reading. Board members took no action on the policy Wednesday night. But board President Nancy Klemp said board members will make a decision when they meet next month.
As it's currently written, the proposed policy would require future central office administrators and principals to live within the school district. Administrators who already work for the district would be grandfathered in and not be subject to the residency requirement.
Klemp read the proposed policy aloud during the meeting.
Board member Mike Carney said the requirement to live within the district is too narrow. He suggested requiring that they live within Leavenworth County.
Board member Loyal Torkelson said he doesn't want the policy if the residency requirement is changed from the school district to the county. He noted there is an area of the county that is only a few miles from Lawrence.
Board member Verna Raines read prepared remarks in which she voiced opposition to the policy. She expressed concern that the proposed policy could jeopardize the district's goal of attracting and retaining quality administrators.
She proposed the district continue to negotiate the residency of administrators in contracts, which she said was done last year.
Klemp said she doesn't feel the residency requirement needs to apply to all central office administrators but the superintendent and assistant superintendent should live in the district.
She also said principals need to live in the district. She said they need to be close to the schools when there are emergencies.
Torkelson said no one can prove the district wouldn't have good administrators if the residency policy is enacted.
Board Vice President Marti Crow said a policy with a residency requirement will limit the board's discretion. She it will limit who the superintendent brings to the board to hire. And she said it will limit who the board hires as a superintendent.
"We want to have all the discretion we can possibly have," Crow said.
Board member Paul Kittle said this issue has been discussed at length in the past.
Kittle said he is concerned about who the district would be able to attract with such a residency requirement.
"I think we want the best of the best," he said.
Board member Doug Darling said he agrees the policy needs to be more specific about who are central office administrators. He believes the superintendent and assistant superintendent should be mentioned.
Page 2 of 2 - Klemp asked that board members send suggested changes for the policy to Superintendent Kelly Crane ahead of their next meeting.