ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WSFA) - Enterprise School leaders are gathering enrollment numbers following a tuition increase for out of zone students.
School leaders say the tuition increase has not been a deterrent for some parents who want to enroll their child in the school system. In fact when looking at numbers from last year to this year - they’re seeing an increase.
This school year, tuition jumped for parents wanting to send their child to Enterprise City Schools. Last year, it was $150 for a child outside the school zone. This year it’s $250.
School leaders say the tuition was based on changes to state funding. The system would get less money even though the student population was not decreasing. Tuition payments would help balance the budget.
School leaders say enrollment dropped by approximately 300 students last year. Even though out of zone enrollment is more expensive - schools leaders say they’re seeing more parents willing to pay.
“This year, our numbers have actually increased overall to approximately 125 additional students above what we had last year,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Cain. “To ensure we’re able to continue to offer the caliber of education in the programs and extra curricular for our students - that’s where the extra tuition came from."
And when that extra tuition money comes in - the school says it’s used to get things students need like adding music teachers to elementary schools, implementing and expanding the S.T.E.M. program at the elementary level and adding math specialists.
“Our math specialists help support our teachers. They model lessons for them, they help with their planning so that they will be better aware of the standards," said Amy Griffin, assistant principal at Hillcrest Elementary.
Next year - the tuition is set to increase to $500 for out of zone students, but school leaders say they will met to discuss the cost before next year. The system also says based on enrollment numbers of out of zone students - it appears more families are moving within city limits to attend Enterprise City Schools.