Parents react to increased $200 pay to participate fee

Parents at a football game.

Isabel Pena

Parents at a football game.

Rachael Kluba, Staff Reporter

In continuing fallout from a failed operating fund referendum in 2011, RB’s pay to participate fee has hit a new high this school year. Where last year a student athlete would have paid $75 to participate on a sport, this year the fee has jumped to $200 per sport. In addition, certain clubs now come with a participation fee, either $75 or $100 depending on the nature of the activity.

RB parent Kathie Kunish said, “It was inevitable. Other schools will follow suit and have higher fees than us.”

As fees begin to mount up, parents must decide whether or not to pay for their child to participate. Kunish, whose son plays golf, decided to save the dollars and not have her son participate.

“Freshmen don’t play much at all,” she said, citing why paying the fee was not worth it in her son’s case.

Parent Kim Michael thought the new cost was not the worst thing the school could have done. “I wouldn’t change the fees for the school, but maybe for other things,” she said.

One parent was even grateful that the school board decided to raise fees. Sarah Bernstein, mother of water polo player Rachel Pavlakovic, preferred that the school raise fees rather than cutting her daughter’s sport.

Even with the increased fee, some athletes will still need to fundraise for their teams. Michaels, Kunish, and Bernstein all said they would still help their children fundraise.  Michaels noted, however, that the school needs to be creative about fundraising.

“[The school] needs to come up with new fundraising, instead of every sport selling the same [discount] cards at a high price,” she said.

Whether it was avoidable or not, hundreds of dollars in new fees for student athletics may prove to be a challenge in 2012-213.  It still remains to be seen whether or not the increased fees lead to decreased enrollment on athletic teams and whether the fee itself will be large enough to help cover costs.