Four years after the sale of Kilgore Heights Elementary School to Kilgore College, Kilgore ISD is still using revenue from the sale to pay for dual-credit programs.
KISD made the sale to KC, which turned the property into The Ballpark at KC Commons, for $550,000 in 2015 and the school district has been using the money as scholarships for high-schoolers to take college-level coursework through KC since the fall of that year.
Superintendent Dr. Andy Baker provided information about how the district and its students are using the funds to accelerate the process of getting a college degree or credential.
For the 2018-2019 school year, 117 Kilgore High School students have taken or are currently taking dual-credit courses. Of those, 56 are seniors and 61 are juniors. Currently, KHS only offers dual-credit courses to seniors and juniors.
“Among our area schools, Kilgore ISD is one of the top leaders in regards to how many kiddos we have taking dual-credit courses. The only area school districts that have more high school students taking dual-credit courses than KISD is Longview ISD (larger school district and offers dual credit courses to Sophomores & Freshmen) and Hallsville ISD (larger school district and offers dual credit courses to Sophomores),” Baker said in an email, adding KISD is currently looking into the possibility of expanding dual-credit opportunities to younger grades.
The dual-credit courses students take in high school allow them to study college-level material and, if they pass, they won’t be required to take that class when they enroll in college. This can save them time and, perhaps more importantly, tuition money.
For the 2018-2019 school year, KHS had or currently has students enrolled in 17 different dual-credit courses. Each student is eligible to take 1-3 courses per semester in addition to their standard high school curriculum.
KISD pays the cost of dual-credit tuition for KHS students, though students are responsible for the cose of college textbooks they need for the courses.
KISD pays $141.00 per course for KHS students and occasionally has to cover additional fees if a course has extra costs associated with it. This is the case with only dual-credit courses.
Paying tuition for so many students adds up but the $550,000 KISD netted from the sale of the elementary school property should keep the dual-credit program at KHS rolling for some time.
For the 2018-2019 school year, KISD used $62,853.00 of the original funding agreement to pay for students to take dual-credit courses through KC. The total expenditure for the dual-credit program so fair is $180,434.20.
KISD got a break on the tuition costs of KC dual-credit courses. The college agreed to offer KHS students college-level courses at a lower rate.
Now, through the college’s new KC Connection program, dual-credit students who enroll in KC after graduation can extend the discount. The program, which was launched in March, gives students who pledge to attend KC directly after high school graduation a 40 percent tuition discount on the courses they take at KC.