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St. Thomas Asks Tuition Increase

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The St. Thomas School Board of Education has dropped a bombshell on parents of children attending parish grade school and high school with a proposed raise in tuition. From a present flat fee of $150, no matter how many children a family has in school, the board has suggested, in a form letter to parents, a new scale which could cost a maximum tuition of $600. "It is with great concern," the mimeographed note to parents reads, "that we send this I message involving St. Thomas School. Educational costs have increased, due to higher teacher salaries, and the loss of religious personnel will necessitate the hiring of additional lay teachers, increasing the overall operating budget to an all-time high. "The proposed budget for the 1969-70 school year," the note goes on, "will raise the cost of educating a high school student to $480 and the cost of educating a grade school student to $240 exclusive of fees." Accordingly the board recom, mended a tuition of $150 for one grade school child, or $100 per child for two or more students. High School tuition was set at $300 for one, or $200 each for more than one. Maximum tuition- the family plan- was set at $600. Tuition rates for out-of-parish students were also raised, from $414 to $480 for high school students and from $186 to $240 for grade school pupils. A questionnaire at the end of the note, to be returned by March 31, asks parents to indicate if their child will be returning to St. Thomas next year. According to a board member, the expectation is t h a t parents will respond to the notice by asking for a parish meeting to be held during the I Easter holidays to question the proposed increase.