Brookwood D.167 considering registration, bus and other fees

2014-04-20T00:00:00Z Brookwood D.167 considering registration, bus and other feesDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent
April 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

GLENWOOD | The Brookwood School District 167 School Board discussed the possibility of reinstating registration, transportation and technology fees to help combat its budget issues Monday.

"In paying a registration fee, being able to pay a fee for technology or transportation and also for summer school enrichment, really shows that stake in education and will also help us reduce our deficit," Superintendent Valorie Moore said.

Projections forecast the district to run increasing deficits each of the next five years with an estimated total deficit of just under $1 million in 2018.

Moore said Business Manager Andrew Ziegler has been communicating with other local districts to find out what kind of fees they charge. She said the majority do have similar fees. D.167 does not currently but did charge a registration fee in the past.

The fees under consideration would total around $100 or $150 per family, Moore said.

"We're not talking about a large fee that would be a huge burden on our families. That surely would not be our goal," Moore said.

A charge for technology could be included in the fees. That could help with the district's one-to-one iPad program, which would give a group of students each an iPad for use with classwork.

Moore said the district is also trying to bring some books online, as well.

Another consideration is having a fee to participate in extracurricular activities, be it one flat charge for all after-school activities or an individual charge for each.

"It's necessary for us, at this time as a school district, to help us close our deficit. We have to look at every angle when it comes to our finances," Moore said. "This is another area that we could actually tap into."

The issue of collecting these fees is a concern for the board. An inability to collect was one of the reasons the district hasn't had a registration fee.

Moore said the district could prevent eighth-grade graduation for students whose families haven't paid fees. The business department could become more aggressive in collecting or an outside agency could be hired.

Payment plans and other arrangements could be worked out with families in need, Moore said.

The district also amended it's school calendar Monday, changing the final school day to June 5. The 2014-15 school calendar was also approved with a starting date of April 18 and an ending date of June 8, 2015.

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