TCS considers tuition option for non-district students

Published 8:20 am Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Out-of-district students could attend the Troy City Schools for a “tuition” of $800 per year, if the school board adopts a policy presented on Monday.

The non-resident, out-of-zone policy was presented to Board of Education members during their meeting on Monday.

“We’re looking at opening up our wonderful school system,” Superintendent Lee Hicks said after the meeting. “We feel like we have a lot to offer, and in speaking to board members and administrators, we feel like this is a perfect opportunity to allow students whose parents may work here but who attend schools elsewhere to come to our district.”

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The proposed policy would allow students who are not attending a state-funded institution to apply for enrollment in the Troy district.

“We would accept students coming from a private institution or from a home-schooling situation,” Hick said. However, students attending another public school district – such as the Pike County schools – would not be eligible. “We are not in competition with the Pike County Schools,” Hicks said.

Students would have to meet enrollment standards, including the ability to pay the fees; acceptable attendance; average or above average academic performance; satisfactory behavior; and space availability in requested grades.

Hicks said the fee – about $800 per year – is based on calculations involving ad valorem per capita revenue estimates and is modeled after similar programs at districts such as Eufaula City Schools, Henry County Schools and Demopolis City Schools. “It’s not a money-maker for the district,” Hicks said, adding that the goal of the policy is to grow enrollment.

Board members will vote on the policy at the Dec. 12 meeting.

In other business on Monday, the board of education:

• Recognized the teacher of the year candidates, including Missy Berry at Troy Elementary; Becky Kirby at Charles Henderson Middle School; and Paula Hinson at Charles Henderson High School. The teachers will compete in the statewide contest.

• Approved the retirements of Linda Smith and Ginger Boutwell. “I hate that the State of Alabama has put us in a bind so that teachers and administrators have to leave because of insurance,” said board member Wally Lowery. “I hate to see these two go. They’re two great people.”

• Approved the supplements for National Board Certified Teachers. The district has two national board certified teachers and the state approves a $5,000 annual supplement for teachers who achieve the designation. However, this year the state funded only $3,500 of that supplement. The local district approved paying the remaining $1,500 from local funds.