Ivanhoe-Canby school agreement draft presented at public hearing

CANBY – A public hearing was held in Canby on Tuesday to give residents a look at the first draft of a tuitioning agreement between the Ivanhoe and Canby school districts. The hearing was before the regular school board meeting.

Ivanhoe decided to tuition out grades 7-12 and reached a tuitioning agreement with the Minneota school district in January. Now, it is seeking an agreement with Canby.

Laura Schuster, superintendent of Canby schools, summarized the nine-page agreement.

Ivanhoe proposed a 10-year agreement. For the first three years, Canby would receive 85 percent of the state and federal funding per student, an estimated $7,000 per year. Ivanhoe would receive 15 percent. Starting in the fourth year, Canby would receive 90 percent of the funds per student.

Ivanhoe proposes to keep transportation funding, approximately $600 per student.

Extracurricular activities would be covered through the funds and student fees assessed on an equal basis with Canby students.

Employees of one district are not considered employees of the other for any purposes whatsoever. Canby is not obligated to hire junior and high school teachers laid off in Ivanhoe.

Canby will maintain school records but will not assume third-party expenses incurred by Ivanhoe.

The Canby School Board will govern all decisions concerning students, but each will organize two subcommittees to meet at least once a year to discuss issues as they arise.

Schuster and board chairman Greg Pederson expressed concern about transportation and the duration of the agreement.

“The life of the contract is somewhat troublesome,” Pederson said. “It’s a gray area. We make a commitment and have no idea what the return will be.”

Schuster and others expressed concern about the possibility of having to arrange transportation for students on the periphery of Lincoln County.

“While we want to be good neighbors and allow students to come to Canby, picking up students that far is neither affordable nor feasible,” Schuster said.

According to Schuster, the issues are still under discussion.

Pederson said while it is possible an agreement might be reached at the next board meeting on Feb. 11, it was more likely to be toward the end of February.