Going into the 2016-2017 school year, Lakota parents will notice lower student fees – and in some cases, shorter school supply lists. The reduction, approved at the Aug. 8 school board meeting, can be attributed to a series of strategic operational changes and financial efficiencies.
“Whenever possible, we are committed to minimizing the overall financial impact of student fees to our families,” said Lakota Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia. “It’s the same philosophy of fiscal responsibility we apply to our daily spending. It’s all about working smarter and stretching our dollars to make the biggest impact possible.”
The latest reduction is a direct result of these financial strategies:
- Leveraging the district’s purchasing power to purchase some items, covered by both student fees and student supply lists, at a lower than retail cost.
- Absorbing some less-individualized supply costs, like paper, into the district’s general fund. The change represented a less than .001% impact to the district’s annual spending.
- Relying less on printed classroom materials.
In addition to the lower fees, parents will also have the opportunity to make online payments for free for three months.
For the first time, Lakota is introducing a three-month student fee holiday, which eliminates the $2.00 convenience fee typically required of any online payments. The fee has always been intended to defray the processing cost incurred by the credit card payment system.
“We negotiated a holiday for the online payment charge to make this process easier and more efficient for our families and our staff,” noted Treasurer Jenni Logan. “This not only reduces the amount of time our staff has to spend on cash and check deposits, but also provides a more convenient method of payment for parents. So it’s a win for everyone involved.”
As both an incentive to remit payment early and promote the convenience of online payment, the student fee holiday will extend through Oct. 31. To make an online payment, visit Lakota’s EZPay site to access your student’s account. Balances will be available for early childhood and elementary students in mid-August and for junior high and high school students at the beginning of September.
To view a complete list of the reduced class fees visit Lakota’s Student Fees webpage.