By SCOTT GRAVES
Trying to offset an expected $1 million budget shortfall next year, the school district budget committee will consider implementing new school fees fees that could cost students and their parents a combined $100,000.
The fees, recommended by the administration, include charging high school students $100 and Azalea Middle School students $50 to play sports. Doing so would generate approximately $35,000 in revenue.
The administration also recommended that all students from first through 12th grade pay a $25 textbook fee at the beginning of the year. This would generate approximately $45,000.
High school students will be charged $50 to park in one of the school's 100 spaces, producing about $5,000.
The budget committee will consider charging the public to use school facilities such as classrooms and gyms at $50 a weekend or $25 per week night. This could generate up to $10,000.
Students who take field trips will be charged for any mileage over 99 miles, which would produce approximately $3,000.
"We're talking about taking $100,000 out of parents' pocketbooks," said Superintendent Paul Prevenas.
"It will be particularly hard on families with single parents."
While other struggling school districts in Oregon have implemented such fees, this is the first time the Brookings-Harbor School District has done so, he said.
"People are used to free public education," Prevenas said. "It's going to be difficult for some people to accept the idea of what amounts to charging kids to come to school."
In his budget message, Prevenas said that while the new fees were "difficult, indeed painful recommendations," he was confident that the "priorities reflected by these proposals focus on enabling our limited dollars to do the most good for the most number of students."
Not included in the new fee proposals was a recommendation to increase meal prices at the schools starting next year.
For example, student breakfasts at the high school would go from $1 to $1.25, and student lunch for grades five to 12 would go from $1.75 to $2.
Prevenas said any meal price increases would have to be approved by the school board.