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Schools Recruiting New Students

The proposed Barrington school budget shows a new source of revenue -- tuition for up to 10 out-of-district students.

Barrington is actively recruiting up to 10 students – one in each grade except fourth- and fifth-grades – to attend its highly regarded schools.  At a cost of almost $12,800 each for tuition.

“We never had seats before,” said Superintendent Robert McIntyre before the annual budget hearing hosted by the Committee on Appropriations at the middle school on Wednesday evening.

“It’s something new," he said. "We’re trying it to see if it will attract students.”

The proposed $44.6 million dollar school budget shows an actual revenue line item of almost $127,000 for tuition for out-of-district students. It’s a line item that could come up short if the district does not find 10 students to fill the seats.

McIntyre said he isn’t overly concerned. Neither is the School Committee.

“We’ve always had way more requests (than 10) each year in the past,” he said.

“The School Committee said it is confident it can fill the seats,” said Kathy Cadigan, chair of the Committee on Appropriations. “We thought the line item should be set lower.”

McIntyre said during the budget hearing that the criteria for admission to the schools is still being designed. He said the administration will look for the “best fits.”

The superintendent was responding to a question from parent Joel Hellmann: “How will we be assured that we get students that will only cost $12,800?”

McIntyre said the tuition was set at a level to attract students.

“We didn’t want to go too high,” he said. It could be adjusted in future years.

McIntyre stressed that no matter what, only one out-of-district student will be admitted to each grade, even if the number of out-of-district students comes up short.

He said that anyone interested in one of the seats should contact him, Assistant Superintendent Mike Messore or Finance Director Ron Tarro.

See a separate story on tuition in the Providence Journal

Gary Morse May 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Joel, Is there a legal opinion on whether or not cherry picking students is lawful under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? Since we accept federal money in RI, we appear to be bound by the Act. But I'd like to see an opinion by attorney on that before we hang out a $12K per student shingle.
Joel Hellmann May 10, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Gary, It is a good question. I don't know the answer. I don't know that they are expecting any state or federal extra money for out of state students. And they have been taking them on a case by case for years. I was aware of a couple of the kids. I know 35 years ago several Cranston students paid to go to Classical when I went there. And classical discriminates against special needs all on it's own with the admissions test.But being Barrington I know if we can be sued we will. We can't turn down special ed in town, but must we take them form out of town? But that was why I asked the question last night.
DontWorryBoutIT June 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM
why do Joel Hellmann and Manifold Witness have to be all over the patch? get a life and get off no one cares what you think or have to say!
Joel Hellmann June 18, 2012 at 01:29 PM
@DontWorry Then why do people all over town thank me for writing and tell me to keep writing. By the way, leave your name for as far as I know you could be 1 person leaving comments under 7 names. Sign your name when you write something that is what a person does.
Gary Morse June 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Dontworry, RI politics survives on indifference.

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