Teachers concerned about future of Non-Resident Tuition Program

Eleanor Bergstein

NESPA Winner: News story, 2023

The Cypress, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA

 For some Public Schools of Brookline (PSB) staff, every day is bring-your-kid-to-work day.

Brookline’s Non-Resident Tuition Program allows PSB staff who live outside the district to apply for their children’s enrollment in the school system. According to the PSB website, “this tuition-based program is operated on a space available basis.” The number of students accepted into the program each year can fluctuate depending on how much additional space the school system has after resident enrollment.

A materials fee must be paid by the families of accepted students to cover the cost of their enrollment. According to Pierce School Chinese teacher Wan Wang, the materials fee for the 2021-22 school year was $3,219 for a family’s first child enrolled and $2,897 for the second.

For many PSB teachers, participating in the Non-Resident Tuition Program is well worth the price. Social Studies teacher Roger Grande, whose daughter is currently enrolled through the program at Pierce, said it helps to retain teachers.

“It triples my investment in the system. I’m trying to build the best possible system for my child just as any parent would want for their child. I get to actually have a real impact on that,” Grande said. “You want to cultivate professionals over time: you don’t want teachers who are in and out every few years. I mean, sure, it’s cheaper, but it’s a way less quality school system. It takes time to develop your professional ability. This keeps people here. I’m not just in during the day and then out again. My life, to a great extent, now revolves around the school community.”


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