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[POLL] Should Schools Accept Out-Of-District Students For A Fee?

The Barrington School Committee is considering accepting 10 such students next year, for tuition of $12,800 per pupil.


The Barrington School Committee made a splash earlier this week when they said the School Department would accept out-of-district students willing to pay $12,800 a year to attend Barrington schools. They have since stepped back a bit, but with ever-tightening school budgets, we wondered what people in East Greenwich would think of such a proposal here.

“We’re looking at new sources of revenue,” said Barrington Supt. Robert McIntyre in a story on the topic in Thursday's Providence Journal. “This is new. It’s different. It’s an opportunity for us.”

Two things drove the decision, the ProJo reported, the need to raise more revenue and a decline in enrollment.

As reported by RI Future, however, there could be legal hurdles to such a plan.

“They’d be smart to get a legal opinion first,” said state Department of Ed's Elliott Krieger told RI Future. “We’re concerned with the equity and access of all students in general.”

On Friday, the school department will shelve the idea unless the tuition it charges covers the cost of educating those kids.

So, what say you East Greenwich? Should the EG School Committee consider such a move? And, if so, would there be takers?

Vote in the poll below and weigh in in the comments section.

Observer May 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM
EG accepts tuition from out of town residents. It's a line item in the budget and has been for years. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Barrington has accepted tuition payments from out of towners in the past as well as every other RI school district. It should be an option if it benefits the school department, faculty and staff, the incoming student and does no harm to the indigenous student body. The issue merits investigative reporting including the pros and cons from a public policy perspective. The General Assembly and RI Department of Ed effectively prohibits school choice (meaning an entire school in the district has to be failing before its students are allowed an appropriate education in another school or school district). The average independent upper school tuition for the 2012-2013 school year is around $30k. This is a relatively affordable option for parents/kids in their search for a secular alternative in a historically high performing district.

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