Kallhoff issues statement on non-resident tuition for Demopolis City Schools

A committee appointed in February has made a recommendation regarding tuition for non-resident students attending Demopolis City Schools according to a letter issued from DCS Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff Friday.

The seven member committee, who has requested to remain anonymous, is comprised of Kallhoff, a DCS Board of Education member, a city schools administrative representative, a Demopolis City Council member, and three parents of non-resident students.

“After meeting with the committee and analyzing the data, the financial numbers certainly indicate that there is a need for a reasonable annual tuition or fee for non-resident students,” Kallhoff said. “However, the timing is not right. With the push for charter schools in West Alabama and the questioning of the quality of public education from state leaders, we do not want to risk losing any of our students.”

Kallhoff first broached the subject of non-resident tuition in the board’s Feb. 20 meeting, as previously reported by The West Alabama Watchman.

In that meeting, Kallhoff announced his intentions to appoint a committee to begin exploring the possibility of charging a reasonable tuition for those students living outside of the 36732 ZIP code.

“We receive funding for all students through the state, but of course that does not cover all services we provide,” Kallhoff told The Watchman on Friday. “We use revenue generated by county and city taxes to cover those additional services such as speech classes, special education testing, as well as transportation and maintenance.”

Of the system’s approximately 2,300 students, Kallhoff said 38 percent, roughly 874 students, are considered out of district.

While the committee opted to not move on the issue immediately, Kallhoff said that a per-household rate of $300-$500 was discussed by the committee, rather than a per-student rate.

“While there is a demonstrated need there, we felt it best to not make any changes at this time,” said Kallhoff. “We want to continue to attract and maintain excellent students from around the entire area and ensure the high quality education we provide is not impacted.”

For Kallhoff’s letter in its entirety, click here.