“They are asking us to go and listen,” Hubbard said. “We are going to go and listen.”
The children of seminary students who live on campus have attended the Hamilton-Wenham schools since the seminary built married student housing in 1975. There was an informal agreement back then that the seminary would pay out-of-district tuition costs for the children attending public schools, but the seminary does not pay that full amount.
The per-student cost to operate the district is an average of $14,600, according to selectmen.
Hubbard said it costs the town at least $8,000 per child to educate the seminary students’ children each year. Through school choice, the town brings in $5,000 for each out-of-district student.
With 40 to 50 students attending the schools, the $100,000 gift from the seminary amounts to about $2,000 to $2,500 per student.
Several grass-roots citizen groups, including Enough is Enough, have formed over the years urging the seminary to pay more for its students.
Selectman David Neill agreed he’d like to see the matter settled.
“I would like to resolve this issue so everyone on both sides is satisfied,” Neill said during an interview. “That is my goal.”
Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.