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Hartselle Enquirer

Out-of-district tuition increasing

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
If you live outside the city limits and your children attend Hartselle Schools, you will be required to pay a higher out-of-district fee beginning next school year.
The school board voted unanimously Monday night to increase out-of-district tuition from $200 to $400 per student in fiscal 2009-2010 with an automatic adjustment to $500 in 2010-1011.
A cap of $900 per family will be in effect next school year with the cap increasing to $1,000 after that. A 10 percent discount will be allowed for families who pay the fee in full not later than 10 days before the beginning of the school year. The fee may also be paid by the semester.
Several parents spoke out in opposition to the increase before it was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed and put to a vote.
The board did not approve grandfathering of existing students.
Crestline teacher Wendy Crow, who lives in Falkville, asked the board to consider a discount for system employees who have school-age children.
That can’t occur, according to Board Chairman Dr. Andy Dukes.
Four other out-of-district mothers joined Grammer and Crow in speaking out against the tuition increase.
Board Vice Chairman Jennifer Sittason compared the new tuition rates with those charged by other school systems in North Alabama.
She said Cullman charges its out-of-district students $520 per year with a family cap of $900 per year and has done so for the past 15 years. Muscle Shoals has a $500 per year fee with a $200 fee for each addition students in a single family. Vestavia’s rate is $1,200 per student per year. Madison and Huntsville systems don’t accept out-of-district students.
The school board acted on other matters as follows: