The Ventnor School District can attempt to recoup tuition costs from a high school student who was allegedly living in Egg Harbor Township when she attended Atlantic City High School in 2011-12.

The state education commissioner rejected the ruling of an administrative law judge, who had said Ventnor had no standing in the issue, and only the Atlantic City School District could attempt to recoup the funds.

The commissioner said since the student had attended Atlantic City High School as a Ventnor resident, the Ventnor School District had paid the tuition costs to Atlantic City as a sending district to the high school. Therefore, Ventnor did have the right to seek reimbursement for those costs.

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The student, Courtney Haymaker, had filed a petition with the state challenging Ventnor’s determination that she was living in Egg Harbor Township with her father during the 2011-12 school year. Ventnor filed a counterpetition seeking to recover the tuition it had paid.

The amount of the tuition was not included in the motion, and Ventnor school officials could not immediately provide the amount. The tuition would represent the amount Atlantic City High School spent to educate each student that year, and based on previous reports, is about $20,000 per year.

The Ventnor district successfully argued that Atlantic City officials would have no interest in collecting the funds from Haymaker and her parents since the district had already been paid by Ventnor.

The commissioner made the decision on June 18, and it was published on the Department of Education website June 26. The case was referred back to the administrative law judge to determine if Ventnor is entitled to reimbursement.

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