Tisha Edwards

Tisha Edwards, Baltimore City schools interim CEO (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun / June 19, 2013)

The Baltimore school board voted against a tuition increase next year for students who aren't city residents, amid a push from district officials to make its rates more competitive.

Currently, the district charges $5,900 for middle/high school tuition and $5,670 for elementary tuition, rates that will stay the same for at least the next year. School officials had proposed raising tuition for middle and high school students to $7,500, and $7,000 for elementary school students.

The rate increase would have mostly affected families who send their students to the Baltimore School for the Arts, which has historically enrolled the most out-of-district students. This year, 100 out of 406 Baltimore School for the Arts students pay tuition.

The increase would have placed the city's rates above that of neighboring Baltimore County, and some area private schools.

On Tuesday, parents testified to the school board that they had concerns about tuition increases being a deterrent for the school attracting top talent from around the state.

School board members said that instead of focusing on making tuition rates more competitive, the district should focus on making its arts program more robust.

erica.green@baltsun.com

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