Enterprise City Schools Board of Education members voted in favor of reducing a tuition hike that was set to take place next school year.
Tuition for the 2020-21 school year will be $300 per student for the first two students and $150 for each additional student — a decrease from numbers presented when a tuition schedule was initially approved.
“When we made the decision to implement tuition for out-of-district students, we adopted a (fee) schedule but committed to re-examine that each year if necessary,” ECS Superintendent Greg Faught told board members. “After careful review and a great deal of consideration, I would like to propose that tuition decrease from $500 for each of the first two students and $250 for each additional student to (the new amounts).
“I would also like to set a due date for the tuition to be paid in full by June 1, 2020. This will give us an opportunity to ensure that our schools are adequately staffed before school starts.”
The changes were approved, but board member Bob Doerer and Faught went back and forth over the superintendent’s reasons against prorated tuition.
“I believe it’s very, very difficult to ask our people to manage within the schools, so we made a decision if you want to go to school in Enterprise you’ve got to pay the tuition in full,” Faught said.
Additionally, he said that the system would not receive state funding for a student for the next year if he or she comes in later in the school year and $300 does not come close to covering the cost to the system to educate the child for the year.
“We didn’t want to get into trying to prorate (based on) when somebody is coming. I’ve had people come and, when they leave, they want a partial refund, but it’s a nominal fee to be part of what I feel like is a quality school system,” Faught said. “If they come after October, we’re not getting funding for them for two years (from the state).”
The current rates ECS charges out-of-district students for 2019-20 school year is $250 for each of the first two students and $125 for each additional student.
The system agreed to start a yearly increasing fee schedule in 2018 in response to overcrowding, funding issues and low ranking in per pupil expenditures. The board agreed to revisit the rates on a yearly basis and adjust, if necessary.
Now, the $500 tuition amount for the first two students is delayed until 2021-22 school year, with a $250 charge for any other individual students.
The rate will remain the same for out-of-district students residing in Coffee County, but students from Dale County and other districts may have to pay $750 for the first two students and $375 for each additional student by the 2022-23 school year if ECS are still not receiving sales and ad valorem taxes from Dale County.
In other business, the board approved a $15,200 contract with NoRedInk, a computer-based program that allows students to practice proper grammar, writing and sentence structure from school and home for junior high English classes.