September 16, 2008

Dist. 211 Fees Stay the Same for Next Year but Likely Will Rise After That

By Ashok Selvam

[email protected]

Student fees for everything from busing to school meals will remain the same in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 next year.

But Superintendent Roger Thornton warned increases are more likely a year from now.

He said he recognizes these are tough times for many families who need every break possible.

However, he said he believes the district will have to raise the price of school breakfasts and lunches next year.

The district participates in a federal program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that offers reduced-cost meals to needy students. Thornton said he doesn't expect the federal government to support the program in the future as it did in past years.

The program started in 1946 and in 2006 helped feed lunch to 30 million students, according to the government.

In District 211, breakfast next year will continue to cost $1.35 for students and $1.60 for adults for full price. Under the National School Breakfast program, the price is 30 cents. For lunch, the district charges $1.95 for students, which includes milk, and $2.60 for adults. Under the National School Lunch Program, the prices will remain at 40 cents.

School officials project the meals would bring in $2.7 million in revenues for the 2008-09 school year, and that money goes in the district's educational fund.

The board also voted to keep other fees level. The transportation fee will remain at $170 to bus a student living less than 1 1/2 miles from school. About 600 students used the option, meaning about $102,000 was generated for the district's transportation fund. The $35 late fee will also remain the same.

The driver education behind-the-wheel course fee will remain at $350 per student. District 211 received a special waiver from the state to charge more than the $50 most high schools charge for these courses. The fees bring in $350,000 for the educational fund.

The student parking fee will also remain $65 per semester per student. That brings in $195,000 to the operations and maintenance fund.

Finally, the textbook-instructional supply fee will remain at $160 per student. It's a general registration fee for use of books, supplies, technology and participation in athletic and activity programs. That brings in $1.7 million for the educational fund.

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