Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Schools of Choice, Part 2"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

Second, we do not subsidize the relatively small number of nonresident students attending our schools. Rather, they pay tuition. We neither have open enrollment, nor plan to employ it.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The taxpayers of this district certainly subsidize the out-of-district students. In BHSD, the taxpayers provide funding of approximately $16,000 per student, and yet out-of-district students are on a different scale. One segment of the out-of-district students bring only their state grant money, approximately $8,800. Another segment of out-of-district students pay $10,800 per year. In both cases, the BHSD taxpayers cover the shortfall.

Please note that the district has gone out of their way to proclaim success as a result of $14 million in out-of-district revenue over the life of the program. What is unsaid is that the cost to educate those students, as noted above, exceeds the revenue. We are actually losing money. Further, the tuition, so highly coveted by the district, has increased only 1% over the last 8 years! The Administration proudly proclaims that our tuition rate is 1/2 that of private schools. This is a clear indication that our District is embarking on a market-driven attempt to attract out-of-district students.