The Muscogee County School Board will discuss charging tuition to employees who live outside the county but have their children attend the county's schools at its work session tonight.
The school district is facing a potential $18 million cut to its budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Administrators have compiled a list of possible ways to cut the budget and increase revenue, including charging tuition to employees who live outside the county, but have their children attend Muscogee County Schools.
Currently, about 200 children of employees attend the county's schools free of charge; collecting tuition from these students could raise about $1 million, depending on how many continue to attend Muscogee County Schools. Out-of-county tuition is about $2,500 and out-of-state tuition is about $8,500.
According to the proposal, students entering grades 10, 11, 12 would be grandfathered in and have no tuition charged for the remainder of their time in the district.
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Students in pre-K through ninth grade would be charged one-half of the current tuition -- $ 1,262.50 for out-of-county students and $4,273.50 for out-of-state students. Tuition could be paid monthly through a payroll deduction, if desired by the employee.
During the meeting, the board will also discuss other options to cut the budget, including closing Benning Hills Elementary, closing the Muscogee County Evening School and changing the school start and end times.
Changing the start and ending times of the school day would allow the school district to tier the transportation system and reduce driver and bus needs, saving the district about $300,000.
According to the proposal, elementary students would be in school from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; middle school students would be in classes from 9 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. and high school students would be in classes from 8:35 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.
Tonight's work session is at 5 p.m. and open to the public. The board will vote on these proposals at their board meeting on Monday, May 17 at 6 p.m.