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The board has heard the concerns and questions from the community regarding student participation fees. We are also aware that this fee structure has been challenging for many of our families.
Program fees are intended to cover costs such as participation fees, team uniforms/supply expenses, officials, coach/director/supervision stipends, musical selections and any provided transportation. The fees are not intended to fund one specific sport or music ensemble or club, rather, the intent is to support the entire program category. There are three categories of enrichment opportunities for our students: interscholastic athletics, intramural athletics and clubs, and performing arts. Recent budget cuts directly affecting the classroom means that the district can no longer subsidize all of the extracurricular programming. The fees collected are accounted for within each individual category. For example, fees collected for interscholastic athletics remain in that category and likewise for the other two categories. It should also be noted that some of the categories (not the specific sport, club or musical ensemble) cost more to support than others.
It does seem unfair to pay a $200 fee for a sport with 100 participants and the same amount for a different sport with only 25 participants. A staggered fee schedule based on number of participants creates hardships as well. Charging a much higher fee for that lower participant activity could exclude an even greater number of students.
Fee revenues and expenses of the three program areas are being carefully tracked over the course of the year. At the end of the school’s fiscal year on June 30, 2012, administration will be in a better position to provide analysis of the revenues and expenses. This information will be reported to the board with the budget presentation in August.
We do appreciate feedback from the community and the quest for further knowledge in how the district functions. Always feel free to contact the board via the board submission form online with any questions or concerns.