Out-of-county students vary
Students who reside outside the county have provided not only a boost to enrollment in Prince Edward Public Schools, but revenue from the state’s coffers as well.
According to Prince Edward County Public School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson, the division currently has about 40 out-of-county students enrolled.
The students provide the county more than $200,000 annually through state funds, which, according to Director of Accountability and Research Dr. Greg Wheeler, adds to the more than $10 million the county receives from the state for overall student enrollment.
“Currently, we have approximately 40-42 students who are out of Prince Edward County,” said Barbara Johnson. “Last year, the year before last, perhaps, not sure what the date was, the board decided not to charge out-of- county tuition for this year … It’s incentive for families outside in our surrounding counties, and we’ve seem to have benefitted on some levels because our enrollment is going up.”
Johnson said that it was possible the out-of-county incentive was part of the increased enrollment numbers, but she said she couldn’t pinpoint it.
The comments came during the March 8 school board meeting where the board voted unanimously to continue its current policy where students are allowed into the county’s schools for free unless they have special education needs.
The numbers in Prince Edward are similar to those in adjoining counties.
In Buckingham County’s public schools, according to Division Superintendent Dr. Cecil Snead, 11 out-of-county students are enrolled in schools currently. Those 11 students are charged $500 each in tuition per semester.
Snead said the basic per pupil aid given to the locality from the state is $6,184 — a number that’s looking at a $16 increase for the upcoming fiscal year.
Overall, Buckingham schools receive $68,024 from the state and $5,500 from tuition for the out-of-county students annually alone. Snead said there are currently 1,908 students enrolled in division.
Cumberland County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin said currently the county has 48 out-of-county students in the division. Of those 48, she said 25 were children of staff who work for the division.
“We can charge tuition (which is $2,200); however, the school board can waive the tuition,” Griffin said.
Currently, Griffin said no one pays the tuition. Griffin estimated the county gets about $7,226 per student from the state.
She said the division currently has 1,284 students.
Lunenburg County Public Schools Superintendent Charles Berkley said he did not know of any students from outside the county attending the division’s schools.
“Two years ago, we started out with several, but they ended up going back to their original county to finish out the year,” Berkley said.
Charlotte County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard said for the current school year, the division has 169 out-of-county students. This reflects a slight decrease in the numbers from the previous two years, 2015-16 being 176 students and 2014-15 being 181 students.
Leonard said the county receives approximately $11,000 per student via state funds. Using that figure, the county receives almost $1.86 million annually based on non-resident students.
Leonard said the county has waived tuition fees for out-of-county students for years.
This is a corrected version of the original story.