The Board of Education voted 4-1 to reduce extracurricular fees for the 2012-2013 school year.
Stephen DiMauro voted against the measure, although he "is supportive of the reductions." He is concerned however, with "the amount of the reduction and the looming uncertainties of the district's financial situation." He cited possible cuts from the state, and reduced revenue from property tax collections as two of the major reasons for his concern.
Superintendent Steven Farnsworth said that the district is in a stronger economic position than it was in 2010, when a levy failed, and the current fee schedule was initiated. A levy has been passed since that time and an austerity program instituted to cut costs.
He said it has been "heartbreaking" to listen to the stories of parents struggling to pay the fees so their children can participate, and that "now is the time to reduce fees."
Participation in a single sport will cost $200 instead of $400 at the high school, and $100 instead of $200 at the middle school.
There is a family cap of $800 now, rather than $1,200.
High school band fees have been set at $100. The lower cost is due to the fact that band is part of the curriculum, and students receive class credit for their participation.
Fees for non-athletic activities used to be a flat rate of $100 for the high school and $80 for the middle school, whether a student participated in a single activitiy or multiple activities.
The new fee schedule sets an amount per activitiy. At the high school level the fees will range from $20 to $30.
Ther will be no fee for Middle school band, orchestra and choir, and $20 for jazz band, show choir, student council, drama club, yearbook and Power of the Pen.
The board also set school lunch prices for next year.
Elementary lunch will rise from $2.40 to $2.55
Specialty lunch at East Woods will rise from $2.55 to $2.70
Middle School regular lunch will rise from $2.55 to $2.70, specialty lunch from $2.80 to $2.95
At the high school, regular lunch will rise from $2.55 to $2.70, specialty lunch from $2.80 to $2.95.