The Derry Cooperative School District and its fellow sending towns will see a decrease in the tuition rate it pays to send high school students to Pinkerton Academy, due to the influx of Hooksett students this fall.
The Pinkerton Board of Trustees announced last week that sending schools will see a $140.68 decrease in tuition. The new tuition rate for 2014-15 will be $10,656.15 per student. This new tuition figure is 3.5 percent over this current school year, according to Chip Underhill, spokesperson for the school.
At press time, the majority of Hooksett eighth-graders – 106 – had elected to spend their freshman year at Pinkerton due to an enrollment agreement between the Hooksett School District and the semi-private school.
Underhill wrote in a press release, “To achieve this lowered figure, Pinkerton added 40 students to projected enrollment. To be fiscally prudent, we did not use a higher enrollment number as there are still “unknowns” to consider; these include the effect of the new Arts Charter School in Derry. While the Charter school expects to open with 160 students, we do not know if any of those students will choose it over Pinkerton. Also, we are currently registering students from all districts and arranging their course selections. This could create incremental cost for a few additional teaching positions.”
Chester board member Royal Richardson had asked earlier this year about a tuition reduction, and Derry board member Dan McKenna brought the subject up in the annual Winter Meeting for trustees and sending schools, held Jan. 23. Ken Linehan of Derry supported the request.
The Trustees reconvened, approved the request, recalculated the tuition and released the numbers to the districts in time for their annual Deliberative Sessions. Derry’s school deliberative session is this coming Saturday.
Derry board chairman Brenda Willis said the proposed budget for 2014-15 has already gone to the printers and cannot be amended until the deliberative session. She said at the deliberative, a motion would be made to amend the budget to reflect the lower figure.
Willis said she was “absolutely” happy about the drop.
Underhill further wrote, “At the end of the school year, following an audit, it is possible Pinkerton will issue a refund to each partner school district – as we have done for 12 of the last 13 years. We certainly hope to do that; we do not simply spend what is budgeted, preferring to return unused funds to taxpayers.”
Derry, Chester, Hampstead and Auburn tuition their high school students to Pinkerton.