Friday, March 30, 2007
School fees inch higher
On March 21, School Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman told the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) that small increases in sports and kindergarten fees are being considered in order to raise additional funds for the FY08 school budget.
Kindergarten fees increase
Zimmerman proposed that the school charge $805 for children enrolled in the full-day kindergarten (offered two days a week), up 3.9% from this year's fee of $775. While half-day kindergarten is part of the free public education mandated by the state, many towns charge a fee for expanded kindergarten programs that include afternoon hours.
Sports fees up
Fees for varsity sports would increase to $180 per child per sport, up from $175, and junior varsity sports, charged , one-half the regular fee, would be $90.
Zimmerman pointed out that the income from fees for cross-country running helps pay for other sports. Sixty-seven students participate in cross- country, generating $14,242 in income. After subtracting costs, there is a surplus of $7,782.
The school is considering a fee for intramural, noncompetitive sports (wall climbing, basketball, soccer) which currently carry no fee.
Burkel suggested creating a task force to look at sports fees.
No family caps
A child may participate in up to three sports per school year. Because there are no family caps for sports fees, the total fees paid by each family varies greatly. In FY06, 227 families paid under $600 for athletics, 29 families paid between $600 and $1,000, and eight families paid up to $1,275. In the current FY07 school year, 175 families paid under $600, 70 families paid between $600 and $1,000, and four families paid between $1,170 and $2,325.
Bus fees held steady
The school bus fee for seventh and eighth graders will remain the same at $395. There are still mixed feelings about the bus fees, which were added in 2000. "I have a real problem with charging to get kids to school," said CSC member Michael Fitzgerald.
The committee will review the fees and vote later in the spring.
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