Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the meeting location of the Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. will now be at the Jefferson Township High School media center on Weldon Road.

Parents Unhappy with Sudden Tuition Decision

The Board of Education plans to discuss a committee decision to charge tuition for the pre-kindergarten program at Milton School. The board will meet on Monday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Township High School media center on Weldon Road.

The district’s state aid will be cut by $1.2 million for the 2019-20 school year, stated superintendent Jeanne Howe on March 11. She said that administrators and a board committee had concluded that the increase was necessary as one means to combat the shortfall of state funds.

Several Facebook groups are buzzing with concerns over what is perceived as a sudden move to charge $2,500 a year in tuition.

In an extensive letter to the district special services director, Patricia Hovey (copied to The Jefferson Chronicle), parents Jon and Sue Heleno said the cost would make them consider removing their son from his second year in the program. They had started him in the program for 3-year-olds with the understanding that he could continue as a 4-year-old. The tuition charge surprised them, and they researched board meeting minutes without finding a reference. Howe confirmed that the full board had not discussed it.

About 10 years ago, the district created an “inclusion” program and admitted general education students. Howe noted that there are several sections of the preschool, and the tuition applies only to the 20 or so general education pupils admitted to the program. The approximately 16 special needs children will continue to attend at no cost as part of the district’s special needs preschool program.

Hovey’s letter published on the district website states that the half-day program will be held Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays. Tuition includes transportation. Applications must be received by March 22.

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