Non-resident tuition eliminated at MCS

By Brian Sweeney
Randy MooreRandy MooreThe Margaretville Central School Board of Education voted last week to eliminate tuition fees for out-of-district students.

Until last year, MCS had followed the NYS Education Department’s “Seneca Falls Formula” which established a tuition rate for non-resident students. The Seneca Falls Formula ranged from $11,000 to $24,000 per non-resident student.

MCS Superintendent Tony Albanese said the higher Seneca Falls tuition rate typically addresses a student with a disability, although the state has a reimbursement formula for high cost students with special needs.

Superintendent Albanese said that tuition has been a topic of discussion for several months. The board of education voted in January to lower the rate for out-of-district students to attend MCS to $500 annually for the upcoming school year. Further discussion at last week’s meeting resulted in the board unanimously agreeing to eliminate tuition.

“The board wanted to be on equal footing with other schools in the area,” the superintendent explained.

Roxbury does not charge any tuition and Andes charges $400 annually for non-resident students.
Superintendent Albanese also noted that the vote to eliminate tuition follows passage of a resolution last year that allows children of employees who live outside the district to attend MCS for free. The district had previously charged one-third of the tuition total for employees’ children.
Superintendent Albanese said that declining enrollments are an issue across the state and that “the board just wanted to be sensitive” to community needs.
He said that Margaretville’s enrollment would probably be about 460 students next year, including the universal pre-k program. The superintendent said he does not know how much impact eliminating tuition will have on enrollment.

Moore is president
In other action at the Organizational Meeting, Margaretville resident Randy Moore was unanimously elected board of education president.

Mr. Moore, who works as a pharmacist at Margaretville Hospital, has served two years on the board. He and his wife, Pat, are MCS graduates, as are their three children.

The president serves a one-year term. Mr. Moore succeeds Barbara Funck who did not seek another term.

Robbie Martin was named vice president. Aggie Laub, who was elected in May, was welcomed to the board. Other members are Mrs. Funck and Joe Moskowitz.

• The MCS Board of Education will hold two summer workshops on July 13 and
July 14 at 7 p.m. in the high school library. The purpose of the July 13 workshop is to review the role and responsibilities of the board with the assistance of Edward Sarzynski, esq. from the law firm of Hogan, Sarzynski, Lynch and DeWind. This law firm represents the school district.

The July 14 workshop will focus on the board’s goals and direction for the 2010-11 school year. Additional workshops will be added, if necessary.