Salina USD 305 Board of Education members approved the discontinuation of a student participation fee associated with athletics and other activities at Tuesday evening’s meeting. The participation fee will be dropped beginning the 2017-18 school year.
“Credit for the change goes to the Board of Education,” said Dr. James Hardy. “With a 60 percent free and reduced lunch rate at USD 305 we know this will help families.”
Eliminating the participation fee removes an economic barrier and is more in step with statewide approaches. Hardy indicated the majority of Kansas school districts no longer charge participation fees. “This update will help families with back-to-school costs and may result in increased participation.”
Last school year, families paid $50 per year at the middle schools and $100 per year at the high schools for students to participate in athletics, band, orchestra, New Dawn/Free Spirit, Scholars Bowl, Debate, Forensics, Drill Team, Cheerleading and Summer Conditioning. Participation fees have been in place at USD 305 since school year 2002-03. Often charged to help with a budget shortfall, the participation fee was introduced because of reduced school funding. The textbook rental fee remains intact.