New fees proposed to ease budget woes

During the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, May 11, an initial presentation was made on proposed increases in school fees. For the 2010-11 school year, the Board is considering increases in fees for registration, student parking, and driver education. They may also be creating fees for athletics participation and field trips.

The fees proposed are meant to boost revenue for the next school year. The Suburban Life reported that, according to Interim Superintendent David Bonnette, RB is one of the only schools in the area that does not have an athletic participation fee to cover costs. The proposal for the athletic fee included charging $25 per student per sport with a cap of $150 for a single family per year.
The proposed field trip fee would be a fuel surcharge: about $5 per student per field trip. Currently students do not have to help cover the cost of bus fuel.

Junior Kate Walsh, a participant in swimming, Math team, and track, said, “Looking at the amount, it isn’t that bad of a number, but the rate of change is very high. $5 doesn’t sound like a lot, unless you’re participating in lots of activities and field trips, and many students do.”

Another Junior, Robin Jensen, a member of the tennis team, Math team, and the 2010-2011 Drum Major, stated that “It’s a good way to support the school’s budget, and people should be thankful that their activities haven’t been cut from the budget entirely.”

The school board sees the fees as a necessary way to generate much needed revenue. Board member Mike Welch said, “Every dollar generated [in revenue] is a dollar less in the budget deficit.”
Students and parents will have to wait and see to find out if the board will adopt the new fees at one of two Board of Education meetings in June.