Unwritten rule put to paper, with a price - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Unwritten rule put to paper, with a price

Some students crossing county lines to attend school may have to pay tuition next year. Some students crossing county lines to attend school may have to pay tuition next year.

Some students crossing county lines to attend school may have to pay tuition next year.

Students living in Covington County that will attend Sumrall schools for the first time next year will have to pay approximately $1,900 in tuition. If a student is already attending Lamar, he nor his siblings will have to pay tuition.

Since the 1940s Covington County and Lamar County have had an agreement that students living west of the Bouie River could attend Sumrall schools free of charge. School officials say in the last few years, an average of 100 Covington County students have been attending Sumrall.

Lamar County receives credit for these students with MAEP funding, but it is still costing the county roughly $200,000 each year. On the other hand, Covington County has benefited from this because it gets property taxes without have to pay to educate the students.

"Lamar County views these students as a vital part of the school district," says Lamar County Superintendent Dr. Ben Burnett. "We are happy that something is worked out to allow them to stay."

Burnett says there are no plans to accept students from other districts or counties on a tuition basis.

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