Saturday, May 12, 2007

School officials offer solution after county line changes

Some new Botetourt residents would have to pay to use Roanoke County schools.
The Roanoke Times
By David Harrison

The revelation a couple of months ago that some residents of Roanoke County really lived in Botetourt County and vice versa produced a head-scratcher for school officials.

Would students who up until now had been educated in Roanoke County have to suddenly transfer to Botetourt County? Would their places in Roanoke County be taken by students who had formerly gone to school in Botetourt County?

On Thursday, Roanoke County school officials presented the school board with a plan that would allow Roanoke County students who now live in Botetourt County to continue at their current school. Under the plan, which the board will vote on in a few weeks, those students will be able to stay in Roanoke County provided their families pay the county school system the difference between their Roanoke County real estate tax bill and their Botetourt County real estate tax bill. . . .

... Among the residents of those parcels were six to eight Roanoke County school students, said Allen Journell, Roanoke County's assistant superintendent for instruction. Come July 1, those students will officially be residents of Botetourt County but Journell said the school system wanted to find a way for them to continue their education in Roanoke County if they wished.

Because Botetourt County's real estate tax rate, 65 cents per $100 of assessed value, is lower than Roanoke County's newly approved rate of $1.09, those homeowners who now find themselves living in Botetourt will be paying a lower tax bill. Roanoke schools are proposing to charge the difference in the tax bill to continue educating those residents' children....

... John Busher, Botetourt County's assistant superintendent, said the county was only losing one student to Roanoke in the boundary adjustment. Botetourt schools will allow that student, a graduating senior, to stay in Botetourt through the end of the year at no charge, he said....

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