Families who live outside Long Beach but want their children to attend school Long Beach School District will now be required to pay tuition.
The school board in February adopted a policy that requires all out-of-district families to pay tuition — including military families who live off base and outside the district — beginning with the upcoming 2017-18 school year.
Military families who live on base will still be allowed to enroll in Long Beach’s district without the tuition requirement, which is consistent with state law followed by other Coast school districts.
However, those military families who live off base and out of district will be able to enroll in Long Beach at a discounted tuition rate.
The district released an email outlining its new policy. It reads in part: “All students enrolled in the Long Beach School District requesting placement in regular or special education classes will not be placed until all children residing in the Long Beach School District are placed and receiving a free and appropriate education.”
Tuition for military students who live off base and are out of district will now be $850 per year.
The district also accepts students from non-military families living out of district, but they, too, must pay tuition.
Tuition for non-military students living out of district is $1,300 per year.
“Our district allows out-of-district families to pay tuition if they are seeking a high quality education from an A-rated school district when they are not obligated or required by law to do so. Our first financial obligation is to the hard-working families who live and pay property taxes within our school district. Families are welcome to send their children to our schools free of charge when they choose to rent, lease, or purchase a home within the city of Long Beach.”
Tuition for the 2017-18 school year is due before July 20. The district does not take weekly or monthly payment plans. Tuition due in two installments or in one lump sum, according to district policy.
The Biloxi School District also charges tuition for military families who live off base and out-of-district, spokeswoman Jennifer Pyron said.
The Gulfport School District does not charge active-duty military families from neighboring districts who wish to enroll in their district.
Long Beach Superintendent Jay Smith and board president Tim Pierce could not immediately be reached for comment.