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Heuvelton Central considers tuitioning study

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HEUVELTON – The Heuvelton School Board of Education is exploring the benefits of accepting tuition and students from the Morristown Central School District.

“They have a very strong interest in it,” Heuvelton School Board President Michael Davis said after meeting with representatives from the Morristown School Board. “We’re going to compile some information and for them and for us.”

Last year, Superintendent David J. Glover said the district could become financially insolvent as early as this school year.

Mr. Glover said he believed basic bills could be paid for the next five years, but the district would not be able to provide even a basic education.

The school has roughly $1.7 million in its fund balance, and Mr. Glover said he thinks it will be exhausted in this year’s budget.

Earlier this year, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, and Morristown Central Schools conducted a $30,000 feasibility study into the potential cost savings from the three districts forming a regional high school.

But because no state law exists allowing a regional high school configuration,

Heuvelton and Morristown Central are considering accepting tuitioning students as a second option.

Under the agreement, students from Morristown would take classes at Heuvelton. The Morristown district would be responsible for paying tuition to Heuvelton.

According to Heuvelton Central Superintendent Susan E. Todd, said tuitioning would benefit the district, as the tax rate in Heuvelton, at $19.90 per $1,000 of property value, is higher than in Morristown, which has a tax rate of $14.34 per $1,000.

If the school decides to move ahead with tuitioning, Heuvelton Central School would cover $6,000 of the $12,000 feasibility study. The other half of the study will be paid for by the Morristown Central School District.

The study will look at transportation costs, the effect on the two communities, programming advantages, and how tuitioning will affect staff levels.

The Heuvelton Central School Board will also consult with the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

The distance from Morristown to Heuvelton Central School is 17.5 miles. The distance from Morristown Central School to Ogdensburg is about 11.8 miles. The distance from Morristown to Hammond Central School is 10.5 miles.

But Mr. Davis said Morristown Central School Board is not interested in striking up the same tuition agreement with Ogdensburg Free Academy.

The board will consider additional funding options for the study before deciding whether they will approve the study, Mrs. Todd said.

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