Rockwall ISD opens to students from outside the school district

ROCKWALL – Beginning this fall, Rockwall ISD will welcome a limited number of students from outside of its current boundary lines through its first ever Tuition-Based Enrollment Program. The new program allows students to apply for enrollment regardless of their home address.

According to a new release from RISD Communications Coordinator Adi Bryant, students in all grade levels can apply for admission, Applicants can apply for their preferred campus, but enrollment figures for each campus and grade level will determine where open spots are available. Prospective students will only be admitted to schools that have adequate space.

Only students who meet the required criteria will be considered for admission, including recent grades, attendance records, disciplinary records and TAKS/STAAR performance.

The cost per student will be $5,000 per school year. Accepted students must provide their own transportation to and from school.

Bryant said tuition-based enrollment in RISD will not cost the district any additional dollars. It will actually generate more dollars for the district from the State.

“The program was created because, each year, we have a limited amount of empty seats across the district that could be filled through out-of-district transfers,” she said. “For years, we have had parents request to pay tuition to attend Rockwall ISD and maintain their residence outside of Rockwall ISD. This program is a way to accomplish both extending our educational opportunities to a few kids outside of Rockwall ISD and a way to increase enrollment which increases state revenue.”

She said the business office reports that RISD’s revenue from the State per WADA (Weighted Average Daily Attendance) from 2011-2012 was $5,976 per student. That amount plus the $5,000 tuition per student is $1,977 more than the $8,999 it costs to educate a student at RISD schools.

“The money Rockwall ISD spends on each child comes from property taxes and state funding. This program has no bearing on local property taxes, but could potentially increase state funding.”

Rockwall ISD assistant superintendent, Sara Bonser, said this open enrollment initiative finally offers an opportunity for students just outside of RISD boundaries a chance to get a Rockwall ISD education.

“The program ultimately serves as a great option for students who previously had no chance of attending our campuses.”

A number of districts around the state are implementing tuition-based enrollment options. Several participating north Texas districts include Royse City, Forney, Carrollton, and Birdville.

To learn more, visit rockwallisd.com/tuitionenrollment or call 972-771-0605.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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