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Burgin Independent Looks Into Charging Tuition

Burgin Principal Chris LeMonds, right, presented outgoing Superintendent Martha Collier with a plaque of appreciation at the last Burgin school board meeting.

The Burgin Board of Education is looking into charging tuition to nonresidential students who don’t have out-of-district contracts. Parents who wanted to enroll their children at Burgin would pay $2,400 a year, either on a monthly basis or in a lump sum.

“It will strengthen us a little bit financially,” said Principal Chris LeMonds, who brought the proposal before the school board. “People call here asking to come here all the time.”

LeMonds said most grade levels were not at capacity and had room to admit new students. To ensure low teacher-to-student ratios, class sizes are strictly limited. Once a grade has exceeded its capacity, the class must be split into smaller groups and another teacher hired. Only the sixth grade was large enough that another teacher might need to be hired, LeMonds said.

Board member Donna Major pointed out that 20 students would need to be admitted in order to pay one additional teacher’s salary. LeMonds said the District could defray costs by hiring teachers qualified to teach at multiple grade levels.

LeMonds said that there was room for 77 more students at Burgin. Tuitions would be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If the board decided to adopt the policy, tuition would be offered to the 100 students currently on the waiting list to enroll at Burgin.

Board Chairman Robert Clark invited the other members—as well as the public—to bring their questions and comments to the next board meeting.

While the first reading of the school policy was under outgoing Superintendent Martha Collier, the second reading—during which the public may make comments—will be under her replacement, Will Begley.

“I’m passing the buck,” Collier joked. “That felt really good.”

Before the meeting, teachers gave testimonials to Collier, who has been an educator for 34 years, serving Burgin for 27 years as teacher, principal and superintendent.

To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.

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