Pasco, Hernando officials discuss fees for dual enrollment courses
Pasco-Hernando Community College has seen participation in high school dual enrollment courses skyrocket in the past three years. Enrollment is up more than 30 percent. But the associated costs to the college and school districts of tuition and materials is up even more, closer to 55 percent.
During a joint meeting Friday, college trustees and members of the two county school boards discussed possible solutions in order to keep the program viable. Pasco superintendent Kurt Browning floated one idea that piqued a lot of interest.
"This is a free ride. These are kids that, yes they are entitled to it. But this is a college credit course," Browning said. "Maybe the time has come for some consideration for some small fee to go into the dual enrollment course."
Others in the room signaled a willingness to look further at the possibilities. "Someone has got to pay for it," trustees chairman Rao Musunuru said.
They suggested that more investigation take place into the idea, along with discussions with lawmakers who could sway the conversation. Sen. John Legg, chairman of the Senate Education Policy Committee, attended the meeting and said he was very dubious that any proposal to charge high school students for dual enrollment courses would fly.
"I find that highly improbable this session," Legg said.