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Extra-Curricular User Fees Could Rise at Oliver Ames

An increase in athletics user fees is proposed. Other extra-curricular activities could see a rise in the family cap.

 

Participating in extra-curricular activities at Oliver Ames High School could get more expensive next year.

The Easton School Committee is expected to discuss an increase in athletics user fees at its April 26 meeting.

Fees for athletics could increase $25 from $125 to $150 per student. The family cap could rise $225 from $375 to $600.

Fees for ice hockey and gymnastics could get hit with an additional $100 surcharge because of a significantly higher cost per player.

Other extra curricular activities in the music and arts would not see the individual fee of $125 rise. However, the family cap could rise from $375 to $500. Last year, only two families reached the family cap in the music department. 90 students met the family cap in athletics, however, according to Gordon.

The fee hike is due in part to a new bus contract, which will cost the School Department an additional $40,000 per year.

"That's $29,000 in change for $25 per kid," Director of School Business Operations Marilyn Gordon said. "[That's a] big part of the deficit. The cap would go up and there would be more from the surcharge."

The potential fee hike was discussed during a School Committee workshop session last week. School Committee members sifted through user fees for other area schools while examining cost-per-player totals in Easton for athletics.

Gymnastics, with only eight members on the team, has the highest cost-per-player at $1,559. Hockey's cost per player is $1,288. The high cost is reason behind the proposed $100 surcharge.

The cost-per-player in football is $793. In boys' and girls' basketball, the cost is $770. For baseball and softball the cost is $612 while wrestling totals $508 per player. For all other sports, the cost-per-player comes in under $500.

In many area towns, user fees are similar or higher than Easton's proposed hikes.

In Stoughton, there is a $200 user fee and a $300 fee for swimming and hockey. Franklin asks for $200 per student-athlete and $175 for indoor and outdoor track. To play Franklin hockey, students pay $450. In Mansfield, there is a $125 user fee with a $400 cap. At King Philip, students pay $165 for cross country and track, $285 for hockey, basketball, gymnastics and golf and $215 for other sports.

Foxborough, however, does not charge any user fees.

The item will be discussed during a first reading on April 26. It will be up for vote at the committee's May 24 meeting.

Carol Kelly April 18, 2012 at 08:57 PM
What about the money the basketball and football teams bring in from tickets to the games?
Janet Sroczynski April 18, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I am not in favor of these fee hikes, aka...additional taxes. However, I do see that other area towns are charging students to park in the school parking lots, fees/tax hikes as high as $180.00 per car/per student/family. At $180.00 per car at approximately 300 cars in the OA high school parking lot, that is an additional $54,000.00.
Janet Sroczynski April 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Perhaps someone could shed some light as to why Foxboro does not charge any user fees. I am not in favor of raising these fees...aka additional taxes. However, I do see other school systems in the area charging additional fees/taxes, for providing parking for students. Some of the parking fees are as high as $180.00 per car/student/family. With an estimated $180.00 per car "x" an estimated 300 cars at OA's high school, that is an additional $54,000.00. A portion of that money could be used to pick up the trash at the high school. Generally speaking, I am not in favor of raising fee(s) as stated above. But I certainly understand the shrinking budgets. Let's look for best practices in other school sytems, and perhaps gain a bit more insight.
Patrick Maguire April 19, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Hi Carol, That was discussed by the School Committee. While it wasn't reflected in the cost per player numbers, Gordon estimated that gate receipts totaled $40,000-$50,000 per year and therefore brought in revenue for general funds. Hockey gate receipts go into paying for the ice time. Those numbers were reflected in the cost-per-player totals. Thanks for your question!

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