BLUE HILL – George Stevens Academy is looking to reach an agreement on a tuition increase with the seven Hancock County towns that send their students to the private high school.
“We used to be able to make up the difference between the tuition for local students and what it costs through fundraising through the boarding program we have that brings students from other countries and some other means,” said Tim Seeley, head of George Stevens Academy.
“We can no longer do that,” he said.
George Stevens Academy has about 300 local students and 32 international students from 15 different countries.
While the enrollment of local students has been increasing, the number of international students has been declining over the years.
With this new plan, Seeley said there is about a $2,000 gap.
“In order to stay in existence and be a school that can educate all the students on the peninsula we need to ask our towns to more fully fund the cost of educating their students,” said Seeley.
Initially, Seeley proposed a tuition hike for 2020-21 school year of $597 per student. After hearing from people from across the peninsula, he cut that request in half last week. Now, it’s $300 per student.
“Every time you ask for money that raises taxes of course its of concern for all sorts of good reasons,” said Seeley. He added this request would be about a $6 property tax increase.
Seeley said some parents want a closer relationship with the faculty at George Stevens Academy. Others are worried because it involves seven towns coming to one agreement.
However, Seeley is hopeful the school and surrounding towns will be able to reach an agreement.
“Having a high quality high school on the peninsula that every child can come to I think it’s better for our communities,” he said.
ABC 7/Fox 22 reached out to selectmen from surrounding towns. No one has a comment at this time.