RIPLEY - The Ripley Central School Board of Education accepted a proposal to tuition grades 7 to 12 to Chautauqua Lake Central School next year at a rate of $7,219 per student.
The board called a special meeting to approve two resolutions. The first accepts the rate and authorizes Superintendent Karen Krause to work with representatives from CLCS and the district's legal counsel to prepare a contract for the agreement. The second resolution officially designates CLCS as the receiving school for Ripley students.
At the current time, 141 Ripley students are set to attend CLCS in the 2013-14 school year. The resolutions followed months of debate on the proposal. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Ripley residents voted 282 to 262 to approve sending students in these grades to CLCS.
According to the resolutions passed, tuitioning 141 students would cost the district $1,017,879. This is considerably higher than was expected. At a January meeting of the board attended by more than 100 residents, the board said it had calculated tuitioning students in these grades would save the district approximately $700,000.
At that meeting, board president Robert Bentley stated, "If we are sending 141 children, then we have $700,000 available. I believe you will see improved education as a result of tuitioning, but we are at a break-even mode."
After the meeting, Bentley said the board had been able to rework the budget to accommodate the proposal.
"It was more than we were hoping for, more than we expected, but we were capable of making it work with these numbers," he said.
The two resolutions were passed after a 40-minute executive session. Bentley said the new school budget, as well as the impact on taxpayers, would be presented at the regular meeting on March 21 starting at 6:30 p.m. He said the board hoped to have the contract completed by then, but it might take longer than that to finalize.