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Student activity fees to rise by $20

Student activities and athletics fees are slated for a $20 increase this fall, which will put them in a range from $155 to $245, depending on the activity.

It's the first hike since the 2010-11 school year and district officials say the extra $20 per student, per activity, will help them keep up with the rising costs for their biggest expenses — out-of-district travel, coach and adviser salaries, and paying officials, such as referees.

"The long and short of it is costs are outpacing what we're bringing in," said Jason Schultz, John Marshall activities director.

These fees bring in more than $500,000 for the district each year — though a small portion of the budget — district leaders say this help offset the costs to run these activities. The cost to run these sports and activities is much greater though.

In the 2015-16 school year, they brought in $938,000 in revenue, but didn't come close to matching the $3.1 million in expenses. The district covers the remaining costs with its general fund.


That revenue includes $525,000 of fees and another $300,000 or so generated by athletic ticket sales. The district's activities directors estimate the fee increase will bring in another $130,000.

The district's Activities Council recommended increase to the school district. It did not require school board approval. The council includes three high school activities directors, three high school principals and district administration.

The fee a student would pay in the $155 to $245 range would depend on the length of the season and the equipment needs for that activity, said Mark Kuisle, Century activities director, with hockey falling at the top end of that range.

The increase would also include activities that have out-of-district travel, such as speech, debate, robotics, Math League, mock trail, one-act plays and Science Olympiad, which would be "phased in" over a two-year period, so that by the end of that time, those fees would be the same as the athletics fees.

It would also alleviate some of the fundraising those groups have to do currently for their out-of-district travel, Schultz said. This will help them be like sports, where that is included.

Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch will continue to have their activities fees waived.

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