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Discussions anticipated on Gainesville schools tuition
Currently, system has one of the lowest rates in region
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Region tuition rates

Buford City Schools: $2,000 for oldest child; $1,500 for additional children
Rome City Schools: $20 per month
Dalton City Schools: $1,000 for first child; $500 for second child
Marietta City Schools: $3,400 for regular attendance; $3,800 for IB program
Jefferson City Schools: $700 per child; K-8 only
Hall County Schools: $1,500 for IB programs

Gainesville City Schools has not raised tuition in four years and remains one of the districts with the lowest tuition rates in the region.

But the board policy dealing with tuition rates is up for review, and school leaders expect at least a discussion about the rates.

“I anticipate a discussion about it because Hall County is considering tuition as well and that’s something we would want to align our tuition with, I would think,” said Merrianne Dyer, school superintendent.

Hall County voted last week to allow tuition-paying juniors and seniors into its three International Baccalaureate programs, space permitting.

It will charge $1,500 per year and will give in-county residents the first option.

Currently, Gainesville charges $585 per year for the first student and $495 for each additional student.

Next year, the system expects an enrollment of more than 7,200, with only 425 tuition-paying students.

As tuition stands right now, the system would collect, at the most, $248,625.

“It’s a small amount of money relative to your budget, but it does bring some revenue in,” Dyer said.

The tuition, she says, really keeps all the seats filled, and the system receives more from the state full-time equivalent funding.

But the decision to raise tuition rests with the board, if it chooses to do so.

Board members have requested a comparison of rates from the region, something Dyer says is common when reviewing the tuition.

“There’s not a plan, nor have any recommendations been made (for raising tuition),” said Dyer. “(The board is) doing (its) due diligence in reviewing it.”

She said there have been some talks on tuition costs for high school students.

According to Dyer, it is more expensive per student at the high school level because of the block schedule. Because of that schedule, students are able to take more advanced placement classes, as well as more career tech classes.
But, again, no decisions or recommendations have been made.

She anticipates those discussions, however, to happen this year, but can’t speculate as to the outcome.

“There’s going to be a discussion,” said Dyer. “A discussion may result in lowering on some ends and raising it on others.”

She said the board still has time to amend the tuition rates.

The most expensive tuition in the region is Marietta City Schools at $3,400 for regular attendance and $3,800 for its IB programs.

Buford City Schools charge $2,000 for the oldest child and $1,500 for the younger siblings.

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