For the first time in at least 10 years, the St. Clair R-XIII School District will not raise nonresident tuition rates heading into the 2013-14 academic year.
The board of education unanimously approved keeping the incoming student fees the same during its February meeting. The current annual rate is $7,289 per student.
“I feel our rate is comparable to the area at this point in time,” Superintendent Mike Murphy said. “My recommendation is for a sustained level going into next year.”
Last year, the nonresident student tuition rate was increased by 2 percent.
The rate is charged for students who wish to attend R-XIII who do not live in the district. The majority of those youngsters come from Lonedell R-XIV, which is a kindergarten through eighth-grade district.
Murphy has estimated that about 100 students from the Lonedell area attend St, Clair schools annually, or about 25 each in grades 9 through 12.
Last year’s 2 percent hike was the smallest in quite some time. Other yearly increases have been 3, 6, 10, 4.4, 3.6, 6.3, 5.6 and 5.4 percents, respectively, going back to 2004-2005.
Murphy gave board members a comparison sheet with other area school districts. According to that information, the majority of area districts have not set their 2013-14 nonresident tuition rates.
Sullivan tentatively has set its new rate at $6,590, an increase of $42 per student from the year before. Union’s 2012-13 cost is $7,004. Washington’s 2012-13 figure is $7,200. Meramec Valley’s current rate is $8,927.77 for freshmen through seniors and $8,915.03 for eighth-graders and younger.
Northwest’s current amount is $10,071.94. Grandview’s is $5,500.
Of all those school districts listed, St. Clair has the lowest tax levy at $2.75 per every $100 of assessed valuation. Its overall assessed valuation also is the lowest, with the exception of Grandview, at $148 million.
In comparison, Sullivan’s tax levy rate is $2.9367, Union’s is $2.84, Washington’s is $3.4943, Meramec Valley’s is $3.6108, Northwest’s is $3.9515 and Grandview’s is $3.2657.