Schools see no out-of-county students

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Out-of-county students have not provided Lunenburg County Public Schools the same benefit allowed to other schools across the Heart of Virginia — in enrollment numbers or state per-pupil funding.

Division 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.

Current enrollment in Lunenburg is 1,494 students. The county receives $10,867.69 per student in state funding.

Charlotte County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard said for the current school year, the division has 169 out-of-county students.

This year 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 from the state. Using that figure, the division receives almost $1.86 million based on out-of-county students alone

from the state.

Leonard said the county has waived tuition fees for out-of-county students for years.

According to Prince Edward County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson, the division currently has about 40 out-of-county students. The students provide the county more than $200,000 through state funds, which, according to Director of Accountability and Research Dr. Greg Wheeler, adds to the more than $10 million that the division receives from the state for overall student enrollment.

“Currently, we have approximately 40-42 students who are out of Prince Edward County,” said Division Superintendent Dr. 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 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 at the March 8 school board meeting where the board voted unanimously to continue the current policy where students are allowed into the county’s schools for free unless they have special education needs.

In Buckingham County Public Schools, according to Division Superintendent Dr. Cecil Snead, there are 11 out-of-county students enrolled in the division’s schools currently.

Those 11 students are charged $500 in tuition per semester.

Snead said the basic per pupil aid given to the locality from the state is $6,184 — a number that could see an $16 increase in the upcoming fiscal year.

Overall, Buckingham receives $68,024 from the state and $5,500 from tuition for the out-of-county students alone.

Snead said there are currently 1,908 students enrolled in division.

Cumberland County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin said currently the division has 48 out-of-county students.

Of those 48, she said 25 were children of school staff.

“We can charge tuition (which is $2,200); however, the school board can waive the tuition,” Griffin said.

Griffin said currently no one pays the tuition. Griffin estimated the county gets about $7,226 per student. She said the county currently has 1,284 students.