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Secession supporters in Rosslyn Farms file appeal

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Rosslyn Farms residents wishing to leave the Carlynton School District aren't taking “no” for an answer.

The petitioners and their attorney, Anthony Mengine, filed an appeal with the state Department of Education after their initial petition was denied by the department last month.

“This is, has always been and will always be about providing the best educational outcome for all of the children,” Mengine said in a prepared statement.

Carlynton officials had opposed the transfer. Chartiers Valley administrators remained neutral.

The residents originally petitioned the state in July 2011 to secede from the Carlynton School District and join Chartiers Valley. Deputy Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq issued the denial May 30. The denial cited a need to keep both districts contiguous – all municipalities in the district connect. A Rosslyn Farms pullout would leave both Carlynton and Chartiers Valley non-contiguous.

The denial also cited a lack of significant difference in the academics and curriculum at the two schools, something with which Mengine disagrees.

“The preliminary findings ignored factual, measurable statistics that clearly demonstrate the educational merit of this transfer,” he said. Based on this evidence, he said, it is “in the best interest of the current and future school-aged children of Rosslyn Farms” that the transfer be approved.

When the petition was filed in 2011, about 78 percent of 371 taxable Rosslyn Farms residents supported the petition. Mengine noted that 60 percent of Rosslyn Farms households with school-aged children “remain committed to this transfer.”

The petitioners and Mengine have requested an administrative hearing with the secretary of education.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810.

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