Parent Tim Farrell's bid for the Board of Education to make ended on Monday with the Board's 7-1 vote rejecting his request for a bus for his daughter to attend a private school in Stony Brook. The Farrells live just outside the district's 15-mile policy limit.
Tammie Topel cast the dissenting vote and Jennifer Thompson abstained.
Since no other child in the district was attending the same school, the district would have had to spend more than $18,000 to provide transportation for Farrell’s daughter. The Farrells have said that since moving to the district three years ago, their daughter is not being challenged enough.
Superintendent Marylou McDermott had reached out to the Kings Park School District, which has other students going to the same school. would have cut the cost to the Northport district to $9384.97.
But at Monday’s meeting, District Counsel Carrie Ann Tondo said that under current Board policy, the Board does not have the authority to approve a centralized pick-up point outside the district.
After the vote was taken, Topel asked that the policy be reviewed, saying that the problem was the lack of a centralized pick-up point within the district, rather than the 15 mile limit.
Thompson, who chairs the district's policy committee, said she would review the policy with committee members. She noted that the last time the policy was reviewed was in 1981, "back when I was in grade school."
Farrell thanked the Board members for all the time and consideration they had given the matter, saying he appreciated their efforts.
Board VP Donna McNaughton thanked Farrell too, saying the issue had been a really difficult one for the Board. "It was a hard decision to say no."