ROSSLYN FARMS (KDKA) — If residents of a community don’t like their school district, can they change it? That’s what they’re trying to do in Rosslyn Farms, which is a community in Allegheny County.
Most of the residents there have petitioned a judge to change their school district from Carlynton to Chartiers Valley. It’s allowed under state law as long as it’s an adjoining school district and a majority of residents agree.
Rosslyn Farms has been called one of Pittsburgh’s best kept secrets, an upscale community of about 460 people, of which 70 are school age.
Students go to Carlynton schools, but their parents have petitioned to have them go to Chartiers Valley schools, citing educational concerns.
Board President Thomas Brown knows there was community dissension over the proposed consolidation of elementary schools, but says test scores in Carlynton and Chartiers Valley are comparable.
“I believe almost 97 percent of the students who live in Rosslyn Farms, and who have gone through the Carlynton system, have enrolled in four year colleges,” Brown said.
According to the petition to change school districts, Chartiers Valley has a superior curriculum and would be in the best interest of the students.
However, there’s not much denying that there’s a possible financial factor at work too. Some feel the value of Rosslyn Farms’ homes would increase if it left the Carlynton School District.
“For the first time, I’m hearing buyers tell me that they don’t want to look in Rosslyn Farms because of what’s happening with the school district there,” said Karen Frank, of Prudential Preferred Realty.
There are other financial factors.
About half of Rosslyn Farms’ students attend private schools. Should parents decide Chartiers Valley could provide as good an education, they could save $3,000 to $8,000 a year per student in tuition.
Also, Chartiers Valley taxes are less, about a thousand dollars a year on a $300,000 home.
It could be a long time, perhaps years before Carlynton students become Chartiers Valley students. In order to be successful, the petition must be approved by a judge, then by the state secretary of education, and then by the state school board.