Archive for Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Board OKs price hike for breakfast, lunch

Students to pay $5 technology fee

May 14, 2003

Parents of school athletes can breathe a sigh of relief. Student activity fees will stay the same for another year.

After considering whether to increase the fees by $5 per sport per student, board members on Monday elected to not make a change.

¢ Textbooks for kindergarten, $30; and for grades 1-12, $50.

¢ Driver education, $150

¢ Technology 1-12, $5

¢ Athletic fees for grades 7-8, $10; and for grades 9-12, $15.

¢ Cheerleading/drill team fees for grades 7-8, $10; and for grades 9-12, $15.

¢ Daily breakfasts costs for kindergartners through ninth-graders: 80 cents; for sophomores through seniors, 85 cents; and for adults, $1.20.

¢ Daily lunch costs for kindergartners through sixth-graders, $1.50; for seventh- through ninth-graders, $1.75; for sophomores through seniors, $1.80; and for adults, $2.60.

¢ Milk: 25 cents.

¢ Family pass: $50.

They did however, approve a 5-cent increase on school breakfast and lunches and implemented a $5 technology fee for all students in the district except kindergartners.

Richard Erickson, superintendent, said the additional meal ticket price will help ensure that the district's cafeterias continue to operate in the black.

And, Erickson estimated that the implementation of a $5 technology fee will raise an additional $7,500 per year. This would be used primarily to purchase software and to replace computers.

The topic of student fees prompted discussion among board members.

Ron Moore said he didn't approve of a proposed $5 fee increase for participation in sports, cheerleading and drill team. The 2002-2003 athletic fees were $10 per sport for grades 7-8, and $15 per sport for grades 9-12. Fees for cheerleading and drill team have been $10 for junior high and $15 for high school. The proposed changes would have increased all of these fees by $5.

"I hate to see us nickel and diming parents to death with athletic fees," Moore said. "With athletic fees at $10 a sport and three sports, that's $30 a year. If you've got three kids, that's 90 bucks."

Moore said this didn't appear to be financially necessary for the district.

"I don't think we need to add new taxes," Moore said. "It's not a tax, but it's a new revenue generator. Our funds are well secured -- we have good balances."

Board member Richard Dean said he, too, would prefer not to increase the fees, but expressed concern about the state budget crisis.

"We don't know what we'll be getting from Topeka next year," Dean said. "Nobody knows, but it doesn't look good. I agree with you. I'd rather not raise them, but I don't know."

Rick Lamb said he was concerned about increasing meal fees.

"I have a problem with the lunches because I remember paying that check every week," Lamb said.

Erickson replied that the increase would allow the district to purchase a new walk-in freezer that is needed.

"To maintain a healthy food service budget, a slight increase may be in order now," Erickson said.

Board member Darlyn Hansen suggested that the board leave the athletic fees at the current rates, add the 5 cents to meals and add a $5 technology fee.

Hansen's motion passed, 6-1 with board member Bob DeHoff, who was not in favor of implementing a technology fee, voting against it.

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