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District 101 keeping student fees the same

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:11 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – Morris Community High School District 101 will be keeping its student fees the same, despite discussion earlier this week of a possible increase.

“I recommend we keep fees where they are,” Superintendent Pat Halloran said during Monday night’s board meeting.

Board member Judie Roth asked about increasing the fees to help the budget.

“What if we increased the fees, say $5 each, I wonder how much that would bring us in,” Roth said.

The current fees include a textbook rental fee of $150, a Grundy Area Vocational Center Certification fee of $100 for those students attending GAVC, lab fees for art, consumer science, and industrial technology that range from $30 to $35, and driver’s education fee of $50, according to Halloran.

“We know families are struggling to pay the bills,” Halloran said Tuesday. “It’s been several years since we raised the fees, and not raising them is the right thing to do.”

He said in the 10 years he’s been superintendent, the free and reduced lunch program has seen an increase from 8 to 20 percent, which signifies an increase in families who are unable to pay.

Those students who receive free or reduced lunch are not charged the textbook rental fee, but are still required to pay for driver’s education fees, and may have some lab fees required based on projects in the class.

Halloran said the district develops payment plans for many families, because students cannot graduate if they have outstanding fees. He reported 95 percent of seniors are paid by graduation.

The board voted unanimously to keep the fees the same as last year with board members Thomas Anderson and Jim Paulson absent.

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