Possible tuition hike causes concern

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 1999

A probable tuition increase at Trinity Episcopal Day School has caused a number of Trinity parents to inquire about vacancies, tuition and registration dates at the area’s other private schools.

Headmaster Russ Green of Huntington School in Ferriday — himself a Trinity parent — said he has gotten about 26 calls in the last one and a half weeks.

&uot;What really floored me was that one of them asked if we could take 100 students,&uot;&160;Green said. &uot;Other parents have asked me if we could run a bus from Natchez, and I&160;said yes.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Both the Rev. Chip Davis of Trinity Episcopal Church and Headmaster Michael Hannan said tuition will probably rise for the 2000-01 school year. But the final decision, and how much the hike would be, won’t be announced until Feb. 15, Hannan said.

Their comments followed weeks of talk about the school’s future — rumors about the church cutting funding to the school, the church being asked by parents to sever its involvement with the school, and the school scaling back the number of grades it offers. Hannan called the rumors &uot;unfounded.&uot;

When asked about the source of the rumors, Hannan said &uot;I&160;think some folks are concerned about their positions of power and are trying to stir the pot to make it look like things aren’t working well here, but they are.&uot;

He did say that school officials will begin to develop a long-range plan for the school in January but would not give specifics.

Meanwhile, as a result of parental inquiries, Green said, Huntington is moving its registration for the next school year up from May to March — when Trinity and Adams County Christian School register.

Rufus Carlock, headmaster of ACCS, said he has received 12 to 15 calls this year, the same as past years. &uot;You hear rumors every year, so I&160;don’t put any stock in it, … though I’m keeping it in the back of my mind,&uot; he said. Tuition at Trinity, which has 377 students, costs up to $3,150. ACCS costs up to $2,590 a year and Huntington costs $2,150.

ACCS has about 700 students; Huntington, 285. Both Carlock and Green said their schools can handle more students. But they would not estimate the number those schools could handle, and said that some grades have more vacancies than others.

&uot;We’ll take care of our people first,&uot;&160;Green said.

Scott Fleming of Cathedral School could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Cathedral has about 700 students with tuition ranging from $2,335 to $2,835 depending on church affiliation. More than $300 extra is required from high school students.

Most Trinity parents and members of the school’s Board of Trustees would not talk about the rumors of tuition increases, instead referring calls to Davis and Hannan.

Trinity parent Peter Burns said has heard that a tuition increase could be in the works for next year, although he has not heard any specific figures.

&uot;(Such increases) are not uncommon for private schools, and I&160;know how hard and how expensive it is to run a private school,&uot;&160;Burns said.

&uot;I&160;have confidence in the school’s leadership to do what is best for our students.&uot;