School Committee E-Mails Community About Fee Increases
Parents had raised questions about the matter.
The Westborough School Committee today responded to residents' questions about fee increases at the Gibbons Middle School and Westborough High School this fall through an e-mail to the community.
Increased mandates and reduced funding made the fees necessary, school officials said in the document, found here.
"Why are school districts across the country struggling financially? Each year schools receive state and federal money," the document says.
"For this school year, Westborough received $1,250,000 less in state/federal aid than we received for the 2008-2009 school year and $675,000 less than we received last year."
School committee Chairman Ilyse Levine-Kanji said Monday night that during its budget discussions, the board discussed ways to "potentially raise revenue."
Westborough's fees were "significantly, significantly lower than surrounding communities, and now they're on the low end but more in line," she said.
Last winter, the school board voted to raise the activity fee to $200 per activity, with a family cap of $500. The fee now applies to all activities involving fine arts, athletics and clubs.
Previously, all middle and high school students participating in one or more extracurricular activites faced a $185 fee for high school students and $135 for middle school students, with a $185 family cap.
Elementary activities are organized and funded through the Community Education program.