The Mount Greylock Regional School Transition Committee on Thursday decided to take its case to the floor of Lanesborough's town meeting in order to secure the funding it requested from the town.
At issue is about $112,000, the figure that Lanesborough's Finance Committee decided to unilaterally cut from the assessment the regional school district made to the town.
On consecutive paper ballot votes, town meeting voted by a 35-31 margin to keep the school line item in the town budget at the level recommended by the School Committee and, by a 13-vote margin, approved the total $870,054.61 spending plan.
Town officials voted to include anticipated tuition revenue from New Ashford in the Mount Greylock Regional School budget, against the school official's advice.
Mount Greylock had put forth a budget aimed to keep the town's contribution for Lanesborough Elementary School flat. But, there is still uncertainty around whether or not New Ashford will continue to send their children to the district. The district is raising tuition for New Ashford and next week residents there will decide whether o
In the past, Lanesborough Elementary has charged New Ashford separately for special education expenses on top of the standard per-pupil rate, but Grady clarified that special ed costs are factored into the DESE per-pupil number.
As agreed to Wednesday and blessed by the School Committee 24 hours later, the town would pay $12,477 per pupil in fiscal 2019, $14,442 in FY20 and the full DESE per-pupil rate, whatever it may be at that time, in FY21.
School officials expect to present a budget to the town by the end of the month.
The budgets for Lanesborough Elementary School and Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School will look very different when it goes to town meeting this year. With the merger, there is a significant amount of shifting of cost centers. Most notably, health insurance will shift out of the town's budget and into the school district's budget.
The Mount Greylock Transition Committee is sticking with its previous agreements when it comes to the tuition rate.
The committee agreed to set a split rate — $14,477 for New Ashford and Hancock students attending Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School and $17,314 for New Ashford students attending Lanesborough Elementary. Those figures are in line with votes the legacy school committees had adopted in prior years.
Since the fall's votes in Lanesborough and Williamstown to fully regionalize the Mount Greylock district, the LES Committee is no longer responsible for decisions that impact the school after July 1, 2018, which is why the Transition Committee is charged with setting a tuition rate.
Some town officials are urging the Mount Greylock Transition Committee to hold firm on tuition rates.
Members of the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee had fought for years over the price point of tuition and last year finally reach an agreement with school officials.
For years, Lanesborough Elementary School and Mount Greylock have been criticized for setting tuition levels below the per-student cost published by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The third school in the newly expanded Mount Greylock Regional School District, Williamstown Elementary School, has a negligible number of tuition pupils in any given year.
Children from Cheshire Elementary School won't be making their way to Lanesborough instead.
The close of Cheshire Elementary School has led many to suggest Lanesborough could be a home for some, if not all, of those students. The Lanesborough Board of Selectmen even suggested looking to craft a tuition agreement to attract some of those students.
Finance Committee member Ronald Tinkham wants to know how many hours are spent mowing the lawns at the elementary school and says New Ashford should pay for a portion of that too.
The School Committee adopted a policy which sets tuition costs at the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education calculated per pupil cost. The move is in response to the Board of Selectmen urging for sharp increases in the tuition rates. When the new rates go into effect, it will essentially double th
The Lanesborough Elementary School Committee on Friday formally began the process of raising the tuition it charges New Ashford.
In response to longtime criticism from town officials about the difference between the negotiated salary rate and the actual per-pupil cost of a Lanesborough education, the district has developed a policy that will peg that tuition to that average cost.
School officials are crafting a policy to address tuition costs on an annual basis.
Interim Superintendent Kimberly Grady told the Board of Selectmen on Monday that she will be presenting new policies to guide the tuition prices to the School Committee later this week. The move is in response to Lanesborough officials' desire to significantly raise the tuition costs for students coming from New Ashford.
The Finance Committee chairman is peeved with Mount Greylock Regional High School for canceling a meeting to discuss the budget.
The committee met on Monday with an agenda that included meeting with the Mount Greylock Regional High School Committee to discuss the proposed budget. However, after a testy meeting last week, another meeting to attend on Monday, and a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Mount Greylock officials opted to cancel their appearance with the Finance Committee.
Board of Selectmen Chairman John Goerlach said he is "thoroughly disgusted" that New Ashford is paying half the cost per pupil than Lanesborough is for the same education.
The town has a tuition agreement with New Ashford, which does not have an elementary school, to send their students to Lanesborough Elementary School. The tuition is set at $8,730, which is about half of the per-pupil spending of the entire school. Goerlach has been pushing for an increased tuition rate for years, calling f