‘Activity Fee’ to Hit Upper Dublin?
The Upper Dublin School Board brings up the possibility of an ‘activity fee’ during Monday night’s budget meeting.
Upper Dublin School District Superintendent Michael Pladus called it a “thorny idea,” but he also said, “everything was on the table.”
The Upper Dublin School Board reviewed the district’s 2013-14 preliminary budget at its meeting Monday night, delving into vocational education to maintenance to student activities. While the 3-hour-plus presentation was rather staid, the “student activities” portion drew some comments from board members.
According to district business administrator Brenda Bray, the preliminary budget currently has $1.3 million allocated to “student activities.” The figure is down slightly over the 2011-12 actual expenses. The biggest expenses in this category are salaries (61 percent) and employee benefits (22 percent).
Board president Joseph Chmielewski said implementing an across-the-board student activity fee wouldn’t be unreasonable.
“If we could get help [by implementing an] activity fee, that’s something we should pursue,” Chmielewski said. “Maybe an activity fee of $100 at the high school — a parent pays for each child at the beginning of the year, and then hey, knock yourself out. Join any club you want to.”
School board member Joan Ludwig called it “a pretty good thought.”
Pladus said at a January board meeting that such a fee could raise $50,000. He added that colleges and universities routinely charge students a fee, but said that he doesn’t know any school district that do an across-the-board activity fee.
“Some do ‘pay-to-play,’ and [fees are] legal, but the school districts who do it said anecdotally that it does not raise the amount they thought it would, and that it decreases participation.”
Check back later for an update.