Board Approves Implementing Nearly $700,000 in Fees
The Twinsburg Board of Education approved new fees to generate nearly $700,000 Wednesday night
Even though raising the price of certain fees for parents wasn't something the Twinsburg Board of Education wanted to do, they approved four new fees for the 2012-13 school year, Wednesday night.
By implementing pay-to-participate, raising the price of student fees, and charging more for latchkey and backround checks, the district could make nearly $700,000 more next year.
“I hope everyone recognizes how difficult it has been for all board members in considering these changes,” Board Memer David Andrews said. “We recognize they are dramatic ones, but we vote on them knowing that they are necessary.”
Next year there will be a $70 student fee for grades preschool-12 to cover costs such as student handbooks, workbooks and other class fees. Some courses in the high school will also have additional fees added on, such as foreign languages and specific electives.
(All the new fee tables can be seen in the PDF section to the right).
Superintendent Kathryn Powers said the district will see almost $300,000 next year from student fees.
“We have to make these changes and these fees are part of that,” Andrews said.
Board Member Stephen Shebeck said ten years ago the community voted for a levy and fees were removed, but since then the economic picture has changed.
“While i’m not a big fan of them, we need to try it again because of the rising costs of materials,” Shebeck said.
This will also cause new scenarios with students who get free or reduced lunch.
“Current law allows for those fees to be waived for students on free or reduced lunch, but we must decide what fee to assess for those students now,” Board Member Paul Crosby said.
Andrews said reduced lunch students would pay 50% of the fee, while free lunch students' fees would be completely waived.
The cost for athletes and extra-curricular activities will also be on the rise. Pay-to-play fees, for both activities and sports, would cover the costs of advisors and transportation. The entry fees and costs for officiating would be included for sports. This move would save the district $170,000 next school year.
Athletes will pay 25 percent of the cost of his or her sport. School officials caution that just because an athlete pays, it doesn't guarantee playing time.
“We’re one of the few (districts) who doesn’t actually charge these fees, but we’ve tried to take into consideration the financial burden on families,” Shebeck said, noting that other districts make families “shoulder the entire cost.”
There are districts eliminating athletics in schools, Stuver said.
“We’re quite inexpensive compared to other comparable programs, but we didn’t want to go from zero to 1,000 for the parents,” Powers said.
Finally, the district will increase the cost of federal background checks. While they are required for certificated staff, the new charge would be assessed to substitute teachers and volunteers, where applicable.
“Not a lot of money collected here, but we’re looking for more ways to generate revenue,” Powers said.