published Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Dalton schools won’t raise tuition

DALTON CITY SCHOOLS

TUITION RATES:

Non-employees

1st child $1,000

2nd child $750

3rd and more $500

School Employees

1st child $648

2nd child $402

3rd and more $269

WHITFIELD COUNTY SCHOOLS

TUITION RATES:

1st child $1,167

2nd child $875.25

3rd and more $583.50

Note: Whitfield schools employees do not pay tuition

DALTON, Ga. — Despite a funding shortfall of $4 million to $5 million for the upcoming school year, Dalton City Schools will not raise tuition rates for out-of-district students.

At a board retreat earlier this month, board members asked school leaders to look for more sources of income since state and local tax revenues are down.

But when the idea of a tuition increase for out-of-district students was raised, board members said they wanted to keep tuition low to make Dalton City Schools an attractive choice for parents.

The board voted unanimously to approve the current tuition rates during Monday’s board meeting. The rate is $1,000 per student for out-of-district enrollees. Parents with multiple children enrolled and school employees pay less tuition on a sliding scale.

Tuition is based on the amount of taxes paid on an average residential property in Dalton for the 2010 digest.

Board Chairman Steve Williams said the board came up with the formula for calculating tuition several years ago, and he doesn’t see any reason to change something that works.

“It’s a formula that seems reasonable and adds stability to the process,” Williams said Wednesday. “We aren’t changing the tuition just because we need revenue.”

This year, the school has 384 out-of-district students, including 122 children of school employees. Tuition fees totaled $305,555.

School districts receive state funding for all students attending the school, with about 50 percent of Dalton’s general operating funds coming from state dollars. However, operational costs for the school system are more than $8,000 per student, based on this year’s budget.

Williams said the idea for the tuition was calculated on what an average parent would pay, not necessarily to cover costs. He also pointed out that around 300 children from inside the city attend schools other than Dalton City schools, but their parents pay city taxes.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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