While many residents are concerned with the funding and quality of educational opportunities in Windsor Public Schools this budget season, the largest percentage increase with respect to funding can be accounted for under the magnet school tuition line item in the superintendent's proposed budget.
Magnet school tuition is identified as one of the significant challenges faced in the creation of Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Villar's proposal, which includes an overall funding increase of 2.5 percent for the district.
Magnet School tuition, however, is expected to jump to as high as $1.21 million in fiscal year 2014 — an increase of 21.5 percent over the current fiscal year.
According to district documents, 472 students in town attend area magnet schools, which was an increase of 449 in 2011. That number is expected to jump again.
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Over the past year, Windsor saw students attend a number of new schools established in the region and saw more students choose what have become he traditional magnet schools.
The Capitol Region Education Council's (CREC) Metropolitan Learning Center has the largest number of Windsor students, with 153 attending this year. That number of students accounts for $535,500 in tuition costs, according to district documents.
There are 18 CREC Schools serving Windsor residents, which accounts for just over $1 million in the current budget.
There are 15 Hartford magnet schools currently serving Windsor residents. Windsor Public Schools are not financially responsible for tuition costs at those schools.
Since 2008, local enrollment in magnet schools has increased 33 percent. Tuition costs have risen 184.4 percent.