The Washington County School Board will allow 10 Navajo youngsters to remain in school through the school year without paying out-of-state tuition.
The students - most of them from Arizona - live in foster homes in the county under the direction of the federally funded Raindancer Youth Services Program.The School Board voted in August that youngsters coming into the county through the Raindancer program could not attend public school unless the school district received out-of-state tuition for them from Raindancer or the Navajo Tribe.
When out-of-state tuition was not paid by December, 10 Raindancer youngsters were expelled from Washington's public schools. A St. George attorney sued the local and state school boards over the action.
Pending a trial on the suit, the two boards have agreed to let the youngsters remain in school. If the state prevails at trial, it may demand out-of-state tuition of about $2,000 for each child from the Navajo tribe to cover this year's education, said Matthew M.F. Hilton, attorney for the youngsters. Raindancer's contract with the federal government prohibits spending any money on education, he said.