CHATHAM – The Ball-Chatham School Board is raising fees for registration, athletic participation and parking to help make up for a projected $2.2 million loss in state funding next school year.
The fees are a part of the “conservative approach,” the board agreed to take in response to budget cuts School Superintendent Bob Gillum recommended in February.
“The additional fees are in lieu of reductions of programs and services,” Gillum said.
“When times are good and we have great financial resources, these are the kinds of areas that our district has not charged households and students for in past years. But, as things get tighter, in order to maintain programs, this is a good next-step measure.”
Other savings the board has adopted involve modifying the pre-kindergarten program, limiting field trips, setting up vehicle fleet plans and reducing transportation spending.
The fees, which were approved Monday, should raise $138,000 for the district.
Gillum said the hardship provisions the district applies for students who receive free or reduced-cost lunches will also apply to the fees, so low-income families can get waivers.
Also Monday, the board approved a contract with Ameresco Inc. to complete $2.2 million in lighting and electric improvements at the district’s buildings.
The work will begin this summer and is part of about $9 million worth of repairs the district is pursuing in the next two years.
The renovations include heating and air-conditioning upgrades at Chatham Elementary School and Glenwood Middle school, where furnaces are more than 50 years old, repairs to damaged bleachers and handrails throughout the district and improvements to Chatham Elementary, Glenwood Middle School and Glenwood High School.
The board has directed the administration to apply for safety bonds of up to $10 million to pay for the work.
Amanda Reavy can be reached at 788-1525.
Ball-Chatham fee increases and projected revenue
Kindergarten through fifth grade: raised to $100 from $85 — $23,000
Sixth through 12th grade: raised to $115 from $85 at Glenwood Middle School and from $90 at Glenwood High School — $55,000
*Ninth through 12th grade parking fee: raised to $25 from $5 — $10,000
*Sixth through 12th grade athletic fee: $75 for the first activity/$25 for the second activity — $50,000 (individual athletic fee maximum of $100, family athletic fee maximum fof $250)
Read the original article from The State Journal-Register.