High school students in the Killeen school district will no longer have to pay a fee to take summer school courses for additional credit.
The Killeen Independent School District’s board of trustees approved changes to the district’s summer school program at the board’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. Six of the board’s seven members voted, among other changes, to eliminate the $150 per-half-credit fee for students who take “accelerated” summer school courses.
Unlike students who are required to take summer school to make up credits for failed classes, accelerated courses allow students to earn additional credits, and free up room for courses doing the regular school year.
“It’s an opportunity for our students,” said Shelley Wells, the board’s president.
While students looking for credit acceleration will no longer have to pay a fee, the board also approved several criteria that must be met for them to enroll.
That includes a minimum 75 average in all core content courses in the prior school year, a good discipline record, a recommendation from a current teacher in the same core content area and approval from their campus curriculum director, among other requirements.
The vote also included capping the number of students who can enroll in summer school credit acceleration at 500.
Board Vice President Terry Delano was the only dissenting vote Tuesday night. Delano cited concerns about decreasing state and federal funding.
“I see it as a program that works well the way it is,” Delano said.
According to a report provided to board members, the cost to run the credit acceleration summer school program is a little more than $108,000.
In previous years, the fees paid for much of that cost.
With those fees waived, the district will shoulder the cost itself.
“To me, we are trying to fix something that isn’t broken,” Delano said.
Board member Ken Ray said he shared some of Delano’s concerns, but voted to approve the changes once the 500-student cap was included.
In addition to waiving the fee, the board also approved an additional four days of accelerated summer school, bringing the total class time to four weeks.