Andy Gammil, writing for the Louisville Courier-Journal, reports on a lesser known consequence of the legislature’s recent property tax repeal. The State is going to pick up schools’ entire operating budgets instead of just a portion. In the past, apparently, if a student wanted to go to a school outside his or her district, the school would charge the parents up to $5,000 per year to recoup the cost of the student that would have been paid by property taxes if the student had lived in the district. Because the local property tax component of a school’s operating costs have been reduced or eliminated, schools won’t be able to charge this sort of tuition.
The new rules should give parents more opportunity to choose their child’s school.
Unless the legislature steps in, however, school districts have discretion to decide whether to accept transfer students and, if they do, which ones they will accept.
That raises questions about how schools can be fair in accepting students without crowding or inviting lawsuits for excluding poor or minority students.
If the only change was this tuition, it sounds like all these grey areas existed before, but they had to be addressed only when a student’s family was able and willing to pay the tuition.