When the Westborough School Committee agreed to a FY13 budget proposal at its Dec. 14 meeting, the panel agreed to implement fees totaling $210,000 in an effort to hold down expenses. This week, the board approved various ways to raise that money, that largest of which raises school activity fees.
“This is a way to maintain the quality of our school system,” said member Ilyse Levine-Kanji.
The five members unanimously approved raising the school activity fee to $200 per activity, with a family cap of $500. Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, the fee will be in place for each activity involving fine arts, athletics and clubs.
Currently, all middle and high school students participating in one or more extracurricular activites are subject to a user fee. The cost is $185 for high school students and $135 for middle school student. The family cap is $185.
Elementary activities are organized and funded through the Community Education program.
Levine-Kanji said she heard from residents who feel that this is a big jump, but she noted that there have been no increases for several years. “While it unfortunately seems like a large jump to families, I think it’s kind of been building over these past couple of years where we have not raised fees.”
School Committee Chairperson Karen Henderson said that the increase will generate an additional $107,000 over the current intake of nearly $124,000.
Fee waivers are available to qualifying families. Information on fees and waivers can be found on the Community Education website.