Reporting Emily Trube
ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – Lovejoy ISD in Collin County is one of the top ranked school districts in North Texas. According to the Texas Education Agency’s accountability index, LISD has very high TAKS scores and a 0% drop-out rate. The only issue the district is having, according to Superintendent Ted Moore, is money.
“We lost about three million dollars in state funding back in the 2011 Legislative Session,” says Moore. “We make cuts and did belt tightening to get us through the following two school years, in hopes that we would have our funding restored in the legislative session that just ended.”
The district saw about 20 percent of it’s funding restored, not enough, says Moore to keep up with costs, growth and a new middle school.
“We were at a place where we had three choices. We could look at a tax increase, we could make what I consider to be draconian cuts to our programs, or we could look for an innovative strategy,” says Moore.
The Lovejoy ISD Board of Trustees decided to go the “innovative strategy” route, which will be to open the district up for transfer students in exchange for a fee. The tuition has been set at $8,000 per year for kindergarten and elementary school students and $10,000 per year for middle and high school students.
Moore says that the trustees consulted with a north Texas private school locating service as they looked to come up with the tuition amount. A study was also done on how much school property tax Lovejoy residents pay on a yearly basis.
According to the Texas Education Code, any public school district in Texas can charge tuition to transfer students, as long as what is spent per student is more than what the state provides.
According to the financial information provided to the TEA, Lovejoy ISD spent $ 15,294 per student last school year. The state portion was $ 4, 522.
Moore says that they expect to allow 200 transfer students total this coming school year and will place a cap of 15 transfer students per grade level.
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