ALBANY, Ga. — The Lee County Board of Education is considering an admissions policy change that would allow children of active duty service personnel living on Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany to attend Lee schools.
“We have a policy of non-resident students in the Lee County,” Lee Superintendent Larry Walters said Friday. “However, there is a great sense of patriotism in Lee County and that’s why we are considering a policy change to allow dependent children of active duty military serving on the Marine base into our schools.”
The proposed policy change, which will be voted on at either the next board meeting in September, or at an earlier called meeting, reads:
“Children of active military personnel living on the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia will be allowed to attend school in Lee County on a space available basis by paying tuition to be set and determined by the board. Available space will be distributed in accordance with the order of the applications submitted.”
According to MCLB-Albany Educational Liaison Dana Wallace, there are 112 children school-aged children currently living on the base.
Those children are zoned in three Dougherty County School System schools — Radium Springs Elementary, Dougherty Middle and Dougherty High.
Walters said if the policy change passes, the Lee system would accept the base’s K-12 children for an annual tuition fee of $1,504.50 each.
Wallace said that 50 of the base’s children are currently attending Worth County schools with no tuition charged.
“We think this (Lee policy change) would be a great opportunity for our families who want choices in education,” Wallace said. “The cost is very reasonable and Lee is a very good school district.”
Walters and Wallace said that if the BOE passes the policy change there will not be much movement in the current school year, which started this month.
“We probably won’t see much movement this year because school has already started,” Walters said. “But even next year I don’t think we’d be talking about very many students.”
“I’m not sure we’d see many moves this year, and overall it would be hard to estimate how many would switch schools, if at all,” said Williams.
Should any MCLB-Albany parents decide to move their children to Lee County schools, state average FTE (Full time equivalency) money, $4,290.14 per child, would follow the student.