Western School Board boosts fees to help with budget issues

Posted: May. 18, 2013 7:13 pm Updated: Jun. 1, 2013 11:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

BARRY, Ill. -- The Western School Board has approved steep increases to the book rent/technology fee, boosted the activity fee and plans a hearing in June to triple the driver's education fee.

Superintendent Carol Frericks said the moves are another step to help alleviate some of the district's budget issues.

Board members last week:

º Increased the book rent/technology fee, formerly known as the registration fee, from $50 for K-5 to $100, $50 for grades 6-8 to $150 and $60 for grades 9-12 to $150.

º Set the extracurricular activity fee, renamed the extracurricular participation fee, at $50 for all grades.

The fee this year applied only to grades 6-12 and was $30 for one activity and $10 for each additional activity. With the new fee, students will not pay admission fees to any activity.

º Discussed boosting the driver's ed fee from $50 to $150.

The hearing, set for the June 19 meeting, will allow public comment on the fee changes. In the meantime, the district will mail out information "so every family is aware and can be prepared come registration time," Frericks said.

Families eligible for free and reduced-price meals also have the option to complete a waiver for the fees, Frericks said.

Board members have looked at ways to trim costs and generate more revenue for the coming year to help counter declining state dollars in the budget.

The higher fees "compared to the need, to the budget deficit, (are) a small amount to help with that," Frericks said.




Other action

The Western School Board also:

• Accepted the resignation of Junior High Principal Marty Hull. Frericks said the position has been advertised internally and candidates are being interviewed.

• Learned 16 students were chosen for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math College and Career Academy offered this summer in partnership with John Wood Community College.

• Approved summer office hours of 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday beginning June 3.

• Scheduled a board retreat for June 21 to look at district data and set goals for the coming school year.

• Appointed Quincy law firm Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu and Mitchell as board attorney, provided it can match the current retainer with Jacksonville law firm Rammelkamp Bradney.

• Approved an application for a state maintenance grant for life-safety projects.