Local ISD Raises Pre-K Tuition

Carroll ISD Administration Building
Carroll ISD Administration Building | Image by FOX 4

Carroll ISD will maintain its pre-K program thanks to a 50% tuition rate increase that the Texas Education Agency signed off on last week.

The new annual tuition rate for pre-K at Carroll ISD has been set at $8,670 for the 2024-2025 school year, putting it well above other neighboring districts, such as Keller ISD, which has an annual tuition rate of $6,129, and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, which has a rate of $6,185.

Carroll ISD’s school board approved sending a formal request to surpass the state-approved rate of $8,031 to the TEA on February 12. The rationale was that the 2023-2024 rate of $5,780 was insufficient to support the district’s general education and special education programs for pre-K-3.

“We are just trying to get right and just funding for this great school district,” said Andrew Yeager, Carroll ISD school board vice president, according to Community Impact. “That means we have to flip over some tables once in a while, and we are willing to do that.”

Cameron Bryan, the school board president who called TEA Commissioner Mike Morath before the February 12 meeting, added that the new tuition rate would also help grow the pre-K program amid declining student enrollment figures districtwide, according to KERA.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the student bodies of several North Texas public school systems have been shrinking. This has put several programs, campuses, and more at risk amid growing budget concerns regarding new state mandates, such as the stationing of armed peace officers on every publicly funded school campus.

These declines can be explained by various factors, such as growing competition from education alternatives, such as charter or private schools and homeschooling, higher housing and borrowing costs, and demographic shifts caused by a declining birth rate. However, some districts, such as Dallas ISD, have been losing students in part due to lackluster academic performance.

Compared to Carroll ISD, which saw 88% of its students score at grade level on the STAAR exam during the 2021-2022 school year, only 41% of Dallas ISD students managed to do so that same year, according to the latest Texas Education Agency accountability report. Similarly, while Carroll ISD achieved a 99.9% on-time graduate rate that term, almost 20% of Dallas ISD’s graduating Class of 2022 did not graduate within four years.

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