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Idea: Other Local Schools Consider Extracurricular Fees

ROYERSFORD PA – If finding new revenue is one way the Pottsgrove School District can close a deficit gap in its preliminary 2011-2012 budget, volunteers working on the district Community Budget Task Force may want to look around at measures being considered by their educational neighbors, the Spring-Ford Area and Daniel Boone districts.

Daniel Boone, in Birdsboro PA, already charges up to $500 per family for students to participate in extracurricular activities like sports, the Limerick-Royersford-Spring City Patch online news service reported Friday (March 4, 2011). The imposition of similar “a la carte” fees is being given more than passing notice by the Spring-Ford Board of School Directors in Royersford, it added.

The Patch said Spring-Ford Superintendent Dr. Marsha Hurda told her board’s Extracurricular Committee, during a Feb. 14 meeting, that “realistic comparisons” on the impact of extra fees are now available as a result of being levied by other districts in Pennsylvania. She cited Souderton as one example; Spring-Ford Athletic Director Mickey McDaniel added the Daniel Boone, Octorara and Palisades districts as others.

“This is an issue that we’re going to have to grab a hold of and really investigate this year as we’re going through the budget process,” The Patch quoted Hurda.

The Pottsgrove task force Extracurricular Activities Committee apparently agrees. During its opening meeting Feb. 23, according to minutes hosted on the district website, its members raised the potentially controversial issue of a “pay-to-play” fee system. They expect to give the concept more thought in coming weeks, the minutes reported.

The task force is charged with making recommendations to Pottsgrove’s school board on how the district might cut costs or raise new revenues totaling about $6 million. Its next meeting is set for March 15 at Pottsgrove High School, Kauffman Road, Pottstown PA.

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Related (to the Pottsgrove School District 2011-2012 budget):

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