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April 30, 2013

Regents raise Model tuition, indicating it likely will stay open

New president’s children to attend

RICHMOND — Tuition at Model Laboratory School will rise by $500 this year and another $500 next year.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Eastern Kentucky University regents adopted the administration’s tuition recommendations that its finance committee had endorsed in a morning meeting.

The tuition hikes will generate about $330,000 in revenue for Model, Karen Neubauer of the EKU budget office told the finance committee. That would equal about one-fourth of the $1.2 million the university contributed to Model’s operation this year.

Model's full-year tuition rates for 2012-2013 were:

  • Kindergarten, $2,439
  • 1st through 8th grades, $2,230
  • 9th through 12th grades, $2,251

Asked if adopting a Model tuition rate for the coming school year indicated the regents would not move to close the state’s last remaining university-operated laboratory school, regents chair Craig Turner said it did.

Also, incoming president Michael Benson plans to enroll his children at Model, Turner said, further indicating the school will remain open.

Model is “an important element” of the university, but it, as will all EKU operations be subject to continued review.

The regents have set a goal of reducing the university budget by 10 percent, or $23 million, and created a task force to review all university programs in search of cuts.

That had prompted some to fear Model would be a target for elimination as an easy way of cutting expenses by more than $1 million.

A report from the task force was on the regents’ as well as the finance committee’s agenda Tuesday, but the committee heard no report, because the report was best heard by the full board, said committee chair Janet Craig,.

Task force co-chair Janna Vice gave only a relatively brief statement when she addressed the board.

Although the regents have received copies of the task forces recommendation, Turner said more input is needed from the new president to assure that reallocations being considered “don't conflict with the direction (Benson) wants to go.”

The reallocation will be an on-going process that may not be fully implemented for up to 24 months, he said.

Even after the current review is completed, Turner said he hopes the university will continually review and justify all of its operations.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or at 624-6690.

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