In perhaps one of their easier decisions of late, members of the Williamson County Board of Education voted unanimously on a proposal that would significantly lessen out-of-county tuition for full-time employees in Williamson County Schools and would eventually eliminate it.
WCS Superintendent Jason Golden presented the resolution during Monday night’s school board meeting in the auditorium of the Williamson County Administrative Complex, and the audience applause that followed the 11-0 vote seemed to cross all party lines and modes of recent differences.
“The intent of this is that proverbial middle ground to find a way to honor those conflicting discussions that you all have had, in which you have heard from commissioners and county leaders dating back decades,” Golden told board members. “What I’m hoping is that this is a half-step towards a deeper discussion next year.”
Numbers-wise, the plan would mean:
- A family tuition reduction from $3,850 to $2,000 for full-time faculty and staff in their first year with WCS.
- For staff members in years 2-5 with WCS, a 20 percent per year reduction from the $2,000 base for each year.
- For staff members with five years with WCS, a family tuition rate of $0.
“This adjustment will give immediate relief to all 108 full-time employees who currently choose WCS while living out of county and will also set the stage for next year’s discussion in the event a different funding model is approved by the [state] legislature,” Golden said in his resolution.
There were a couple of teachers fitting the profile who took to the microphone during public comment, asking board members to bring relief. Their tuition, until the change takes place for the 2022-23 school year, has been close to $4,000 annually.
“My take-home salary is roughly $32,000 a year,” said Meredith Daniel, who comes from a long line of Williamson Countians. “This makes it a pipe dream to live in Williamson County like the generations before me.
“We must attract and retain good quality teachers. The cost of living in Williamson County makes it virtually impossible to live here on a teacher’s salary. … I love this community and I love my students. I just want my child to be a member of the community of students I serve and nurture every day.”
Click here to view the full meeting.