LAKOTA BOARD LOWERS FEES TO EXPAND STUDENT ACCESS

Lakota Board Lowers Extracurricular Fees to Expand Student Access
Posted on 09/21/2016
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In an effort to expand student access to opportunities beyond the classroom, the Lakota Board of Education approved at a special board meeting the lowering of athletic, marching band and winter/color guard fees for junior high and high school students.

It’s only the first step in the board’s complete analysis of all student opportunities and associated fees to continue into October. To potentially expand the footprint of this reduction and promote increased participation in all activities for more students, the board will soon be reviewing and considering potential changes to the fee structure for other student opportunities, too.

“Rather than waiting until next school year, we wanted to expedite this change for a more immediate benefit to our students and families this year,” said Chief Operating Officer Chris Passarge. “We hope this change, and any additional changes to follow, will encourage more students to explore more activities.”

The decision followed a recent comparative review of athletic fees for all other schools participating in the Greater Miami Conference.

“Even after our efforts to lower fees as promised through the last levy, Lakota students are still paying more than double the closest rate among our GMC competitors,” said Lakota Treasurer Jenni Logan.

“Other financial efficiencies since then have put us in a much more stable financial position,” continued Logan, noting such efforts as continuous bond refinancing and the district’s annual efforts to lower the cost of employee healthcare benefits. “We know the financial burden extracurricular fees introduce to our families and we are always pleased to redirect a portion of our savings in other areas to expanded student opportunities.”

The overall financial impact to the school district will be about $750,000 annually, or just half a percent of the district's total annual budget. With the fee reduction, the district is now covering about 75 percent of each student's total participation cost, according to the district's total operational cost for athletics and marching band - up from 50 percent under the old fee structure.

The extracurricular fees for students in grades 7-12 will be exactly half the current amount, effective for students participating in the winter and spring sessions. Fees paid for the 2016 fall season will be applied to the family cap for the 2016-2017 school year.

“The annual family cap will also be reduced by half, helping offset the cost difference for those students who participated in fall activities under the current rate,” said Logan, noting the opportunity for such students to participate in more activities at no additional cost. 

"Until we see the complete financial impact of all fee reductions, we can't commit to any potential credits or refunds to fall athletes or marching band students, but that will certainly be considered as part of our ongoing review," said Logan, noting such variables as scholarships and the family that make impossible any clean-cut refund or credit for any student. "We need to consider how we might manage those kinds of complexities." 

The new fee schedule will be enforced on a sliding scale for economically disadvantaged students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

 

Revised Fees

Junior High School Athletics (Grades 7-8)

$150 per student/per sport

High School Athletics (Grades 9-12)
Marching Band, Color/Winter Guard

$200 per student/per activity

 

Revised Annual Family Cap

 

1 student

$400

2 students

$600

3 students

$800

4 students

$1,000

 Click here to view the Family Cap FAQ or Family Cap Application.