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.

andquot;We're talking about taking $100,000 out of parents' pocketbooks,andquot; said Superintendent Paul Prevenas.

andquot;It will be particularly hard on families with single parents.andquot;

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.

andquot;People are used to free public education,andquot; Prevenas said. andquot;It's going to be difficult for some people to accept the idea of what amounts to charging kids to come to school.andquot;

In his budget message, Prevenas said that while the new fees were andquot;difficult, indeed painful recommendations,andquot; he was confident that the andquot;priorities reflected by these proposals focus on enabling our limited dollars to do the most good for the most number of students.andquot;

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.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017

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