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Pay-to-play: Caldwell School District approves $100 dollar fee

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jul 10, 2024

The Caldwell School District has implemented a pay-to play fee this year. After the failed levy that in past years helped cover the costs for student transportation, athletics, extracurricular and staff salaries the board was forced to cut $4.1 million. Parents have reacted online, but the school board district plans to meet on July 22 to talk about capping fees for families with multiple children who participate in sports.

  • The $4.1 million supplementary levy failed in May.
  • The District is also facing a $5.5 million reduction in state funding
  • The District hopes to reintroduce the levy in November.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

"You think they can find a way around it. its just a shame that its happening," said Caldwell local, Jim Miller.

The Caldwell School Board approved a $100 dollar pay-to- play fee for students involved in extracurricular activities this upcoming school year.

The change in response to the district's failed levy in May which in years past helped cover costs for student transportation, athletics, extracurricular's and staff salaries.

"The board was forced to cut 4.1 million dollars," said Jessica Watts.

Jessica Watts, Director of Communications for the Caldwell School District, has advice for parents who may be concerned.

"Our board of trustees would love to hear from the public so if they can attend the can also submit public comments online or email there trusties as well," said Watts.

Parents are reacting online. Some are sad to see the change and how it will impact low-income families. Others say 100 dollars per sport is a good deal. Something already in place in several other surrounding districts.

The new fees have some families wondering about what other increases could be put into place before the start of the school year.

"The plan is to hopefully run the levy again in November so just keep an eye out for communication from the district about the levy," said Watts.

Along with the new activity fee costs for student "asb cards" will increase from $35 dollars to $50.

The district told me that money goes back to the school for other student needs. Despite some concerns students will still be able to access free meals through the community eligibility provision program.