Pinkerton Tuition to Rise 4.9 Percent

Pinkerton Academy has set its tuition rate for sending towns for 2014-15.
The new tuition rate will be $10,796.96 per student, a $504 increase over 2013-14’s $10,292.49.
The semi-private school serves Auburn, Chester, Derry and Hampstead.

Laura Nelson, Derry superintendent of schools, said in a phone interview that the working budget had a “place holder” of 3 percent for a regular education increase. The tuition increase announced Monday is 4.9 percent.
“What it means for us,” Nelson said, “is an early estimate of an additional $500,000 to what we had budgeted for Pinkerton tuition.
She said she had met with her administrative team on Monday to announce the new rate, and Business Administrator Jane Simard was “crunching the numbers” to determine the impact on the working budget.
Charles Littlefield, superintendent for School Administrative Unit (SAU) 15, which includes Auburn, Candia and Hooksett, said Monday that no formal arrangement had been made, including a MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Hooksett. But the two are still talking, he said, and the next step is to arrange a meeting between the Hooksett School Board and Pinkerton’s Trustees.
Chip Underhill, Pinkerton executive director of public relations and external affairs, wrote in a press release, “The Pinkerton Board of Trustees has set the overall Regular Education budget at $32,714,388 for 2014-2015, an increase of 3.53 percent. Tuition will be $10,796.83, or 4.9 percent over current tuition. Budgeted salaries, an ample part of the Academy’s budget, have increased 2 percent over 2013-14 representing merit pay adjustments. Less than one quarter percent is planned for capital repairs or capital improvements.”
Underhill also wrote, “Primary drivers of the budget changes are projected decrease in student enrollment, increases in benefit costs, and anticipation of health care fees still to be understood under the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment is expected to decrease by 40 students to 3,030 students, resulting in a loss of $400,000 in revenue.”
He said the enrollment decrease is not enough to allow significant budget cuts.
“Pinkerton received a 6 percent increase in health benefits, a 2.5 percent increase in dental benefits, and an influx of family members joining the Pinkerton health plan due to changes in spousal employment,” he added.
Underhill explained that tuition is set by dividing the budget for an academic year by the projected total number of students for that year. For 2014-15, town enrollment projections follow: Derry – decrease of 89 students from an estimated 1,975 for 2013-14 to an estimated 1,886 students in 2014-15. Hampstead is projected to decrease 36 students from 458 students to an estimated 422 students. Chester is expected to increase three from an estimated 350 students to 353 students. Auburn is expected to increase 52 students from 236 students to a projected 288 students. The balance of enrollment are students from outside the four sending districts as allowed by contract.
Tuition rates have also been set for the three Special Education programs provided at Pinkerton. In the Resources program, tuition increased 8.13 percent with a decrease of enrollment by 10 students. Despite a budget reduction of 18.74 percent for the Pinkerton Academy Special Services for Educational Success (PASSES) program, including two staff positions, tuition increased 15.9 percent, due to a projected decrease of 17 students. Alternative Comprehensive Training (ACT) tuition has decreased 0.8 percent; three new students are projected.

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