The Enterprise Board of Education approved lowering the planned tuition increase for out-of–district students for the 2020-2021 school year at its regularly scheduled board meeting on Oct. 29.
“Board, when we made the decision to implement tuition for out of district students a couple of years ago, we adopted a schedule but committed to reexamine that each year if necessary,” Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Greg Faught said.
Parents will now have to pay $300 for the first two students and $150 for each additional student in the 2020-2021 school year, which is down from the originally planned $500 for each student and $250 for each additional students.
The board also approved that tuition be due in full by June 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 year.
“This will give us an opportunity to ensure our schools are adequately staffed when school year starts,” Faught said.
At the meeting, board member Bob Doerer asked if the system prorated tuition for out-of-district students who enroll in an ECS school after the school year has started.
Faught explained why the system does not prorate tuition.
“One reason that I’ve explained to you (Doerer) is that it’s hard for our people to figure out exactly what that (prorated amount) would be,” Faught said. “Number two, when a student shows up in October—or really the end of September—we’re not getting any funding from the state at all so $300 doesn’t near cover what it would cost us to educate that child for the rest of the year. If they come before the first 20 days after Labor Day, we at least get $5,200 from the state for that child. We don’t receive that if they come after that. If they do come before (the deadline) that still doesn’t make up for the taxes they’re not paying by not living here in the city limits of Enterprise.
“So to me it’s such a nominal fee to attend school that 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, which really does not add up to what they’re not paying by not living here.”
He made sure to note that if a child joins after the 20 days after Labor Day deadline, it will take two years to receive funding for the child since funding is based on the year before.
“If they come after October, we’re not getting funded for two years,” Faught said. “We’re talking about $10,400 as opposed to being charged $600 to be a part of a great school system.”
Doerer also asked if a student who lives inside the city limits at the start at the school year, but moves outside of city limits before the school year ends would have to pay tuition. Faught said that a student in that situation would not be forced to pay tuition for that school year, but would have to pay the next school year.
The originally planned hike to $500 for the two students and $250 for each additional student has been moved back to the 2021-2022 school year. For out of district students living in Coffee County, the rate will remain the same after that school year.
For students attending Enterprise City Schools who are not in Coffee County, tuition will raise to $750 for the first two students and $375 for each additional student for the 2022-2023 school year if the system is not receiving county-wide sales tax and ad valorem tax from Dale County, the system announced Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Students who live on Fort Rucker will not be required to pay tuition and ECS employees will pay 10 percent of the scheduled rate for their children.
The next Enterprise Board of Education meeting will be Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Central Office on Hutchinson Street. The meeting is open to the public.