New school transfer law getting few takers so far in Bibb

So far, 153 Bibb County students have signed up to transfer to another school in the district under a new state law that took effect July 1.

Considering the system serves about 24,000 students, “it’s not a large percentage,” said Bibb County school system Deputy Superintendent Sylvia McGee. “It’s not the movement we thought it would be.”

Monroe County schools also had few transfer requests.

A new state law, House Bill 251, gives parents more choices about which schools their children attend and allows students to transfer to another school in the district that isn’t new or full.

Bibb County school officials began taking transfer applications July 10, and students have until July 29 to apply.

Bibb County estimates 19 of its roughly 40 schools are eligible for transfers, although that number is subject to change when school starts Aug. 6 and enrollment is more certain.

Those schools include: Barden, Brookdale, Burdell-Hunt, Burghard, Carter, Hartley, Heard, Jones, King-Danforth, Morgan, Rice, Riley, Springdale, Taylor and Williams elementary schools; Appling, Miller and Weaver middle schools and Northeast High School.

In Monroe County, schools offered the transfers to second- and fourth-graders at Samuel Hubbard Elementary, the only school there that qualified. Parents started applying July 6, and Monday was the deadline.

“We had 12 requests,” said Jackson Daniel, assistant superintendent of schools.

“It could be heavier. Twelve out of 4,000 (students in the system) is a pretty low percentage.”

Other midstate school systems have not yet begun taking transfer applications.

In Houston County, parents can begin to sign up their children for transfers on that system’s first day of school Aug. 4, and they have until Aug. 21, school system spokeswoman Beth McLaughlin said.

“We’ll have 10 days of school, and then we’ll be able to check availability,” she said.

If more students apply at a school than there are available spots, the system will use a lottery to determine which students transfer.

Schools in Houston County preliminarily accepting transfer applications for certain grade levels are Kings Chapel, Lake Joy Primary, Linwood, Matt Arthur, Lindsey, Pearl Stephens, Centerville, Quail Run, Shirley Hills and Northside elementary schools and Northside High School.

In Jones County, transfer applications will be accepted from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11, but school officials say they won’t be sure which schools may be eligible until school starts next month.