TABLE: What Other Districts Charge for Kids of Nonresident Faculty To Attend Local Schools


In a letter from a resident and at a Town Council meeting, the question has emerged: Should New Canaan continue its practice of allowing the children of educators in the district who don’t live in town to attend local schools for free?

Here’s a table that looks at how some nearby towns handle this—the schools listed here belong to the same CT Department of Education “District Reference Group”:

Out-of-District Faculty Children: Cost To Attend Schools

DistrictOut-of-district children allowed?Tuition charged?Details
DarienNoN/ANot allowed
ER9 (1) EastonYesYes15% of $17,154 ($2,573)
*elementary & middle school
ER9 (2) ReddingYesNoFree of charge, elementary & middle school
ER9 (3) Region 9YesYesJoel Barlow HS: 20% of $18,423 ($3,685)
GreenwichYesYes2015-16 rates:
Certified staff: 15% of tuition $17,019 ($2,553)
Other town employees: 25% of tuition ($4,255)
RidgefieldYesYes2013-14 figure: $3,861
*30% for school, town, bus employees
New CanaanYesNoFree of charge
WestonYesYes25% of $19,384 ($4,846)
WestportYesYes2015-16 rates:
K-5: $3,999
6-8: $5,600
9-12: $5,998
WiltonYesNoFree of charge
* Source: NCPS


Currently, officials say, 51 children attending New Canaan Public Schools fall into the category, mostly in the younger elementary school grades. During a discussion of the matter, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said at the July 15 Town Council meeting that the children of nonresident educators are spread out among the schools so that no new sections are added as a result. Luizzi added that the practice results from a Board of Education policy and is at the discretion of the school board.

Specifically, policy 5120 (on page 123 here), approved in April 1956, states: “When deemed appropriate by the administration, children of non-resident public school teachers are permitted to attend the New Canaan Public Schools at no cost to the parent. Such placements will be reviewed annually by the Superintendent. However, the parent is responsible for transporting children to the nearest bus stop in New Canaan.”

In June 2013, documents show that the Board of Ed had sought to revise the policy to be more specific—for example, that such school assignments must be reviewed each year, that transportation is not included and no child expelled from another school qualifies—though it isn’t clear whether any formal action was taken after sending the expanded policy to an attorney for review.

Asked for her thoughts on the longstanding practice, Board of Ed Chair Hazel Hobbs said she thought it was a beneficial policy for New Canaan to preserve, for three reasons. First, as an incentive to prospective educators, it helps New Canaan attract and retain the very best, she said. Second, the policy in its inclusiveness has the potential to bring the participating educators themselves even closer to the community. And finally, Hobbs said, it brings the educators even closer to the parents, students and families they serve.

21 thoughts on “TABLE: What Other Districts Charge for Kids of Nonresident Faculty To Attend Local Schools

  1. This is yet another way that New Canaan School system distinguishes itself at a very marginal incremental cost. To turn back this long-standing policy would reverse decades of team and community building among educators, students and parents. 51 students out of a total student population of over 3500 has a meaningless impact on budget and a salutary impact on the essence of our educational equation. I hope we will continue to welcome the children of those who help ours.

    • But what is the “marginal incremental cost” ? Do we know?
      If we are talking about needing to add space at Saxe due to
      projected overcrowding then maybe the incremental cost is
      higher than you think.

      A lot has changed since 1956 when the policy was first put in place.

  2. And fourth, we are not Darien. Part of what makes NC, Wilton and Redding schools among the best in the state is allowing the children of teachers to attend the public schools free of charge.
    One resident with a burr in his saddle should not change a long-standing policy which allows us to retain the best young teachers.

    • Dear S Ericson — I do have a saddle — we had a horse
      for many years — I looked under it NO BURR — if you read my letter I said it was a good and bad — but the main point they
      the BOE lied to everyone as they always do — that the increase
      enrollment was do to MOVE INS — 16 + children this last year — just happens to be the increase of 16 out of town students — so as they always do they lied to ME and YOU — when you can not Trust
      then you have to question everything they say. They did not have to close Saxe auditorium for 2 yrs (2017) all they had to do was paint over the old paint till they gutted it latter.

    • Darien, Westport and Weston are 3 of the best districts in the state and all either don’t allow teachers’ children, or charge them for the privilege, so I’m not sure what argument you are making here?

  3. We need to continue the existing policy. Teachers in New Canaan public schools can’t afford to live here, generally, so having their children attend the New Canaan schools to make transporting and caring for their school-age children manageable is a necessity – it should not be regarded as a “perk”.
    Judging by the chart, the amount that we could charge for all 52 children attending our schools would be less than $150,000. The incremental costs of having the children attend is probably near zero. Are we so mindlessly focused on costs that we can’t see that we could easily have to spend more to attract teachers if we change the policy?

    • I’d like to see The Parking Commission take the same benevolent view towards low wage retail employees. It would be a lot easier to
      attract good workers if they did not have to spend a few hours wages just to park their car.

  4. Very interesting! I knew we charged teachers to school their kids here in Greenwich. I had no idea New Canaan didn’t. So hard to hold onto great teachers, this is food for thought.

  5. The issue is if it necessitates building a $18 million Saxe expansion it is problematic. We are not just speaking of an $150k annual cost. Get out of the tree shade and look at the forest. Also the cost of additional teachers needed for the 51. If you are going to do an analysis and make comments do it correctly.

  6. I would rather see the costs given as tax rebates to our seniors who have resided in NC and paid NC taxes all their life that can no longer afford to reside in NC because of our massive increase in taxes. Any amounts charged should be rebated to our seniors. Teachers in the NC school system are handsomely compensated especially if you annualized.

  7. Does anyone know that tax ramifications to the teachers taking advantage of this “necessity”? Are they receiving an annual 1099 for
    the value of this optional employee benefit?

  8. The per pupil cost in New Canaan is $18, 195 per student. Multiply that amount by 52 and it adds up to $ 946,140- almost a million dollars. I’m not sure where the 150,000 number came from when it was quoted as the cost to New Canaan taxpayers.

    • So let me get this straight…we are expanding Saxe to the tune of 18 million plus, have a most generous pay scale for our teachers, 80% of the town budget goes to the district and we are also paying for their children to go to our schools to the tune of 1 million a year but don’t think we should charge them what surrounding districts charge….oh and are we hoping our taxes don’t go up too?

  9. Can a parent pay out of district taxes to attend Weston high schools ?
    And if so … what is the annual fee per year , per student ?
    Looking at private schools w financial aide and seeing our options – if we don’t move to Weston by sept ….

    • No. Unless you live in Weston or work as a teacher in their district your child cannot attend. On a side note, this article is from 2015.

      • Thanks so much – we were told if we paid taxes for Weston it would be tuition –
        Wasn’t told an amount – but was told u could … any idea who to call to see if they now allow out of district if paying taxes -?

        • I have never heard of such a thing but you should call their Superintendent and ask. I don’t live in Weston so perhaps their rules are different than ours.

          • Thanks so much i sent an email to their BOard of Ed
            I went to King college preparatory school in Stamford but tuition for our two boys would be astronomical !!
            Thanks for the reply ?

  10. We should not allow this. Teachers here are compensated well already. I’m not saying exclude their kids entirely but we SHOULD be charging them something for this perk.

  11. To attract the best teachers in the US, we need to be competitive. I’m actually positively pleased that New Canaan is offering what it does, which certainly contributes to lure top education talent. Furthermore, what better motivation to teach at a top school by having their own kids here too? That’s a lot of skin in the game for a teacher, while not much of a burden to our community – – matter of fact, there seems to be something healthy to not only have New Canaanites, but add some other perspectives too! Private schools routinely/often allow their teacher’s access to the schools because they know of the increased commitments and dedication that brings, seems a bit lofty for our top ranked public system to abandon the people who spend a majority of the day with our kids, and are the linchpin to making them great citizens and productive contributors to society. I say not only maintain the unique selling point to top teachers for them and their families (great teachers are hard to get and keep), but also offer them first dib on some of the new housing coming up, and see how much more integrated, and competitive we get academically. Finland and South Korea have the best schools in the world (according to PISA). One of the leading factors are that the teachers are paid well, have high social status in their community, and it is difficult to become a teacher. We need such factors to be in our school system and community too. We certainly ought to remember the significance teachers (and coaches of all sorts, by the way) have on kids. Our competitiveness is not only measured by how many FIACC titles our kids will gain for our town’s glory, but how well they will compete in an ever increasing global tech setting (as many parents are already seeing too), that no wall will be able to stop (or any lack of parking space). Better we embrace our teacher community to work hard with us on our (and their) kids upbringing, that they are happy with us and our kids, and that we give our kids the best preparation for the world that is rapidly changing, re-forming and moving ahead to new challanges. Better we have an all around positive deal with our teachers, than letting a good thing pass and fall in-line with “the rest” of Fairfield/Westchester – – my guess is that soon we will see other top public schools follow our model, so we ought to stick to it with some pride in our system, our teachers, and remain resolved that education is the towns top priority. In all, its a good deal for both Teachers and New Canaan.

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