Plymouth’s 16-year-old Rising Tide Charter Public School began as a middle school located in the Industrial Park. Four years ago the school started its expansion to include a high school.
The reason for the expansion is to allow more students from surrounding towns to attend. Jill Crafts, Rising Tide’s Head of School, says the largest percentage of students now enrolled are from Plymouth:
“Out of our 520 students, a majority of them are from Plymouth, probably the percentage is close to 95% of our middle school, grades 5 through 8 students. About 70% of our grades 5 through 11 students are from Plymouth.”’
The perception is that Charter Schools drain the resources of traditional public schools, and therefore the Plymouth School District suffers financially.
“It really isn’t true that we’re taking money out of the hands of the district. The money follows the child. So, if a child comes to Rising Tide, Rising Tide gets the money from the town and the state.”
The current state policy is that when a student begins to attend a charter school, the sending district receives 100% tuition reimbursement in the first year, and then 25% tuition reimbursement for the next five years.
“So there’s really a period of time when the districts are still reimbursed for the students who come to Charter.”