Manchester to raise driver's ed fee to $575
The Board of School Committee approved the tuition increase earlier this week as part of changes designed to generate more revenue and reduce the costs of the program. Driver’s education has been running at a deficit for the last several years, resulting in a cumulative deficit of approximately $180,000.
Most districts in New Hampshire have had to raise tuition for driver’s ed after the state pulled subsidies for the programs in 2011. Many districts have dropped their programs altogether, with parents increasingly turning to private driving schools.
But a majority of board members voted to support the increase and other programs changes, while calling for additional review of its finances.
“So he can tell us where the financial stability is, so we can get a motion to reconsider and start going in the right direction,” Gatsas said.
“I hear your frustration,” Rokas said. “But we pay an individual to be director of the driver’s ed program. This is not just something we came up with today. You have to give this a chance, to come out of this hole.”
Rokas said the changes are projected to result in a $32,000 surplus at the end of the current budget year.
A couple of board members raised the possibility of “privatizing” the driver’s education program, much as the district has its custodial services.
“I don’t think we’re going to fix this by adding $50 a person,” he said. “I don’t know if privatizing is the answer, but something is wrong,” he said.
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