The Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education will make another change to its non-resident tuition policy, according to discussion at its May 6 study session.
According to Director of Schools John Carver, district officials noticed a discrepancy in the tuition policy following the school board’s vote to eliminate tuition for the children of all district employees.
According to Carver, there is also a tuition policy that allows non-residents who own businesses valued at a certain amount within the city limits to also receive a discounted tuition rate.
“In reviewing board policy, the folks who are non-residents of Tullahoma City … there is a process, if they have a business of a certain dollar amount inside Tullahoma … they could go through the process, and they were granted a reduced rate for their out-of-zone tuition,” Carver said.
As it is written now, the policy states that those business owners with children who attend Tullahoma City Schools will receive the same tuition rate as teachers.
“As that policy was written, the reduced rate … ‘is that what a teacher outside of the district pays,’ and at that time, teachers paid half tuition,” Carver said.
Because the board voted last month to eliminate the tuition burden for teachers, that policy would now also apply to business owners.
Carver suggested the board “disconnect” those two policies, recommending the board codify a set rate for those business owners that reflects what they are currently paying.
“So the part that we’re going to need to clean up is … it should perhaps maybe say, ‘half tuition’ and not link it to the teachers,” he said. “We need to disconnect that.”
School Board Vice Chairman Kim Uselton agreed with Carver, saying she would like to see the policy specifically state those business owners receive the half tuition rate, since “that’s what they’re paying now.”
According to district officials, the policy change would only have a minimal effect on those to which it would apply.
Carver told The News the policy dictates that people who live outside the city limits must have a business worth at least $5,000 and be a registered voter in the city in order to take advantage of the discounted tuition rate.
There are currently only two business owners who qualify for the tuition discount, according to district officials.
The estimated monetary value of those tuition payments on the three eligible students is only “a couple of grand,” according to the district.
The board is expected to vote on the tuition discrepancy at its next meeting on Monday, May 20.
Erin McCullough may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.