School Committee Considers Raising Sports Fees

The proposed fees are part of the 2012-13 school budget, which goes to a public hearing at the high school in March.


The School Committee is considering raising the playing fees by $50 next year to $300.

The fees would remain capped at $1,250 a year per family. And families that can demonstrate they cannot afford the fees will be reviewed on a case by case basis by High School Principal Layne Millington.

The fee increase would generate the $30,000 the athletic department says it needs because the current budget of $185,000 is not enough to cover the cost of running the sports programs, including four new varsity sports, Budget Director Ed Cronin told the committee.

Several years ago, the athletic department budget was cut by $50,000. Cronin and Millington said the athletic budget has had to be subsidized for several years.

The proposed fee increase is part of the proposed school budget for 2012-2013, which is now posted on the district's web site.

The committee has scheduled a public hearing on the budget for March 14, in the high school auditorium.

According to a Boston Globe survey of school athletic fees, Georgetown, Marblehead and Ipswich charge higher annual fees.

Some school districts, like Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District charge per sport. Football and hockey tend to charge higher fees because of the additional costs of those sports.


David Whelan February 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Lou: There are typically no user fees in urban school districts and, in general, we'd be better off if we stopped comparing ourselves to Marblehead. They are two very different places.
Citizen Swamp February 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM
How about a little analysis of the impact of a 20% increase in user fees. I think that's what annoys people the most. What percentage of the total athletic budget do user fees cover? Will activity user fees be increased by 20% also? The School Committee/Administration frequently makes public statements that they want to communicate better, then they trot out a 20% tax increase to families who appreciate the value of athletics without any information to back it up.
Bridget Russo February 03, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Parents do pay for supplies. If this increase goes into effect we will be cutting out at least one season of sports.
David Whelan February 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM
The budget is online.
David Matela February 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Didn't the School Commitee return $195,095. to the town last year in unused funds? Don't get me wrong, I'll pay the fee when my kids reach that level. Outside activities are too important. Nevertheless, just wondering where that money went.


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