With two board members absent, the Whitfield County Board of Education voted to approve tuition rates for out-of-district students on Monday.

The cost for the children of an out-of-district family to attend the school system in the upcoming year will be $1,167 for the first student, 75 percent of that amount for the second student, and 50 percent for the third and each additional student. The board also approved a $195 per course fee for part-time students.

It is the first year for the tuition policy. Board members Jerry Nealey and Thomas Barton did not attend the meeting.

A presentation by Coahulla Creek High School redistricting committee representative Chip Whitfield reported that the committee voted 12-0 to recommend following middle school district lines to populate the new high school, with North Whitfield Middle School being the only feeder school.

West Side and New Hope Middle Schools will continue to feed Northwest Whitfield High School, and Valley Point and Eastbrook Middles will continue to feed Southeast High. Projected numbers for the high schools when Coahulla Creek opens in the 2011-2012 school year are 1,364 students at Southeast, 1,237 students at Northwest and 1,065 students at Coahulla Creek.

Board chairman Tim Trew noted it has been 35 years since Northwest and Southeast were built — both designed for 1,200 students — and for several years some students at both schools have had to wait until 1:45 p.m. to eat lunch in the cafeteria. Spokesman Eric Beavers said the inclusion of Career Academy student numbers keeps the populations “fluid” at each school, but pegged the total number of high school students in the district at around 3,600.

Trew said he wanted Nealey and Barton to see the redistricting recommendation before the full board votes on it at Monday’s meeting, set to begin at noon in the Central Office at 1306 S. Thornton Ave.

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