To the Valley News:
Hooray, Westport School District has finally succumbed to common sense and is now charging tuition for out of district students. Taxpayers have been asking for this for years. The only problem is that even with a Masters Degree in Engineering, I cannot figure out the mathematical basis for determining the amount of tuition.
It was decided that Westport will be charging $750 a year per student. But in the same announcement it was pointed out that a large portion of increased revenues for this year will come from the district's fund balance; $20,000, with $200,000 tapped for 2012-13.
Why was $750 chosen, when a neighboring school (Keene) charges $2,000 and other schools in the state charge up to $15,000? Just by using Keene’s formula, the increase would be roughly $50,000 above what they will receive at the $750 rate. Why are we not doing what Keene does, or is, as one taxpayer asked, Keene that much better than we are?
We have been told for years that Westport was the best public (or the most expensive to the taxpayer - private) school system in the area. If this is true, the parents who desire the best will pay the additional charge which would bring us on par with Keene.
Let’s keep the pressure on the school’s fund balance at a minimum by:
• Increasing the tuition to $2,000 per student.
• Using the $200,000 being wasted on the generator for the budget.
• Developing a reasonable repair plan to the library and use what remains of the $183,000 for the budget.
Instituting a half a million dollar capital project and a trifling tuition charge, while raiding the school’s fund balance, does not show proper fiduciary responsibility.