MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile County Public School System proposed a policy that would require out-of-system students to pay tuition if they wish to attend school in that district.
The new policy would require all students without special needs who choose to come to the Mobile County Public School System instead of their own system to be charged tuition at a predetermined amount set by the superintendent every year.
"If we have programs that the students would like to participate in or take advantage of, that's why the tuition policy is in place," said Mobile County Public School System Superintendent Dr. Martha Peek.
Peek said Mobile has always had a tuition policy. Now, they are revisiting it and making some changes.
"One thing that will be added is that students who attend Mobile County Public School System's magnet school cannot pay tuition and continue in those magnet schools. That's part of the separation agreement," Peek said.
According to the policy for Mobile County Public School Systems, no transportation will be provided for out-of-system students (except for those with special needs) and tuition payments must be paid in full before the student registers at the school.
The current tuition is $2,000 and Peek said it will go up $200 for the 2012-2013 school year.
"Any funds that are raised from local tax revenue within the MCPSS zones above what state and federal government supplies. This is the income form local tax revenue," Peek said.
That money that is paid goes towards the students.
"The tuition is paid to the central office and it goes into the MCPSS. Then, all funds that come into the district applied to local school programs are then distributed out accordingly to all the schools," said Peek.
The same goes for Satsuma. All the money goes to the central office first. Their admission for non-resident students is $650.
"The people of Satsuma are paying 7.5 percent ad valorem and we had a chart that we went over with at a public hearing. By all the numbers we crunched, that seems to be the most reasonable charge to off-set what our citizens are paying for the schools," said Robbins.
She said board members have been researching the matter for months and voted on a tuition based policy Tuesday night at their board meeting.
"I am shocked at some of the tuitions for the southeast. We really didn't want to charge anything to be honest, but we have to pay for funding," said Robbins.
Satsuma's website states the students can apply to attend the school for the 2012-2013 school year through May 11, 2012.
This policy waives the tuition for non-resident students currently enrolled as Juniors at Satsuma High School.
"We did this because we welcome the communities around us. Those students have traditionally been students of Satsuma," said Robbins.
FOX10 contacted Saraland officials but couldn't reach anyone because of Spring Break.
According to Saraland City Schools website:
The Saraland Board of Education has a policy in place requiring out-of district students to pay $1,500 per year to attend Saraland schools.
The website states "the policy establishes specific criteria, including availability of space, academic and behavioral criteria, and the date and time for applying."
Full-time employees of Saraland City Schools or the city of Saraland are not subject to the non-resident policy.
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