WESTFIELD TWP. — Cloverleaf officials are contemplating an increase in school fees to cover the increased costs of providing school supplies to elementary and middle school students.
Last year, the district opted to reduce school fees for elementary and middle school students from $50 per school year to $40, a number that also includes school supplies for those grade levels.
James Hudson, district treasurer, said Monday that he wanted to review the fees with the board and address any modifications that might be necessary moving forward.
“About a year ago, a committee was put together to review our school fees and we made some dramatic changes to our school fees, I think positive changes, and we have had some really good feedback over the past year,” Hudson said.
Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said the idea that a public school district is using its buying power to provide families with school supplies at a discounted rate has not been lost on parents.
“Few decisions that you as a board have made have gone over as well as this one,” Kubilus said during the meeting.
“I hope you have heard it from our parents like I have heard it from our parents.”
Hudson asked board members if they would entertain the idea of a gradual increase of the school fees to compensate an increase in product cost.
“If we go several years without increasing that rate, next thing you know, we are way behind,” Hudson said.
Board member Jane Rych said she is not opposed to an increase of a couple of dollars to cover the cost of inflation, but that the final number should be no more than the district truly needs.
Board President Jeff Schreiber agreed with Rych’s assessment.
“Not to try to make it be a round number, not to try to avoid it being a round number, but to make it be what it should be to the dollar … ,” Schreiber said.
Hudson also proposed incorporating the $2 fee for district parents and guardians to use the online financial service EasyPay into the school fees.
Board member James Curran asked what percentage of parents and guardians use the service, and said he does not believe those that opt not to use it should be changed for it.
Hudson said about 50 percent of parents use EasyPay, and the district is making efforts to reduce the handling of physical checks and cash at the building level.
Kubilus said in an email Tuesday that school fees are currently set at $40 for the elementary and middle school with a $60 flat class fee, $10 graduation fee and $15 consumable fee at the high school.
No action was taken regarding student fees during the meeting.