Tuition for the Jeffrey Mansion Preschool will be going up for the 2019-20 school year.

The city of Bexley's recreation board voted unanimously Oct. 3 to approve a tuition increase that will go into effect in fall 2019. Fees will increase, ranging from $20 to $35 per month, depending on how many days per week students attend.

The monthly tuition increases for the 2019-20 school year would be:

* Three-day, half-day enrollment, from $230 to $250.

* Three-day, full-day enrollment, from $530 to $555.

* Five-day, half-day enrollment, from $330 to $350.

* Five-day, full-day enrollment, from $650 to $685.

The Jeffrey Mansion Preschool has five lead teachers, three assistant teachers and 59 students, with a 46-person wait list, said Cate Swendall, the preschool's program director.

The annual program lasts nine months, but teachers work close to 10 months, she said.

"All of our lead teachers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. All of our assistant teachers have a minimum of an associate degree," Swendall said.

The Jeffrey Mansion Preschool has not raised its tuition in the past two years, and the increase for the 2019-20 school year would be used for compensating teachers and covering the cost of supplies, Swendall said.

"That money would go toward an increase in staff pay. It would go toward our school expenses -- construction paper and glue," she said.

The hourly pay range for Jeffrey Mansion Preschool lead teachers is $12 to $16.64 an hour and for assistant teachers is $9 to $12.25, said Michael Price, director of the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department, which oversees the preschool.

Price said he anticipates Bexley City Council would approve a 2.5 percent cost-of-living pay increase for preschool teachers in January.

He said the recreation department would have discretion to provide teachers an additional raise based on the pay range approved by council. The raises would not go into effect until the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

Raising preschool teachers' pay would enable the Jeffrey Mansion Preschool to remain competitive with other employers, Price said.

"We're not going to compete with school systems" that can pay more and offer more benefits, he said. "We're really lucky to have teachers who have certifications and could be teaching in school systems if they so chose."

Increasing teacher pay could assist the Jeffrey Mansion Preschool in maintaining the quality of its programming, said Lindsay Hodge, the Recreation Board's vice chairwoman.

"I think we should appreciate the fact of what quality educators we have and we want to retain them," Hodge said.

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