Non-Troup County residents could pay to attend local schools under proposal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Matthew Strother

LaGRANGE — The Troup County Board of Education will consider a policy that would allow students who live outside the county to attend Troup schools if they pay a tuition.

The policy is up for a vote Thursday. If approved, the measure would go into affect July 1, which would include the new students in the state’s full-time equivalent student count, which it uses to determine local funding for 2017, noted school system CFO Byron Jones.

The board would still need to decide on the fee to nonresident students, and payment schedules and deadlines.

Jones on Tuesday showed board members a chart of area school systems that charge tuition for out-of-system students. They ranged from about $750 for Carrollton city schools to $4,400 for Harris County schools.

Jones didn’t have data on out-of-state tuition, but said the school system will not receive any state funding for students who don’t reside in Georgia. So those coming in from another state would be charged an additional fee on top of tuition.

All nonresident students would be assigned to schools on a space-available basis. They would be assigned to the school closest to their residence, or another nearby school if space is unavailable.

Any nonresident attending a Troup County school would not have transportation provided by the school system.

The policy calls for the school system to consider grades, disciplinary records, athletics and any special education needs before accepting a nonresident student.

The policy would not affect students who live in Harris County within the city of West Point, who are allowed to attend Troup County schools at no additional cost. It also will not affect a provision allowing school system employees who are Georgia residents to enroll their children at the school where they are employed. It will add the ability for employees who live out of state to let their children attend the school, but they still will be required to pay the out-of-state tuition fee.

In other business, the board on Thursday is expected to vote on:

• Purchasing new band uniforms for LaGrange High School at a cost of $91,192 to DeMoulin Bros & Co. The Callaway Foundation has awarded a grant for $55,000 toward the cost of the band uniforms, according to school system documents. The LaGrange High School Band Boosters will reimburse TCSS for the remainder of the cost of the band uniforms.

• Approval of Tyler Technologies Inc. as the software provider for the school system’s finance and human resources departments for a fee not to exceed $700,000 and approve the superintendent and board chairman to execute a contract as approved by legal counsel. Jones said he was unsure how much of the cost might be eligible for special-purpose, local-option sales tax — SPLOST — funds and how much would come out of the system’s general fund.

• Approval of Boelter Direct South to provide kitchen equipment at several schools for a total cost of $534,506. Cost would come from SPLOST funds.

• Approval of Torrance Construction as general contractor for HVAC renovations and to install a new fire alarm system at Long Cane Elementary School for $1,753,233. The funds will come from $302,853 in Georgia Department of Education capital outlay funds and $1,450,380 from SPLOST.

• Approving a resolution stating that the Troup High School reflooring project has been completed and paid in full, required by the Georgia Department of Education Facilities Division before it can reimburse the school system. Total cost was $1,223,082.81, with $965,155 from the state DOE and $257,927.81 from local SPLOST funds.

• Approving MJR Solutions Company to replace the roof at the Troup High School Fine Arts Auditorium, which was damaged during the Christmas-time heavy rains, for $392,171.66.

• Approve a purchase order for $49,717.65 funds to Sterling Computers for Chromebooks to be used at secondary schools. Funded by SPLOST.

Matthew Strother is the editor of LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2153.