Students will be paying more but getting less at Riverside-Brookfield High School in 2011-12. On Tuesday the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 school board approved fee increases and program cuts worth nearly $400,000 in a widely anticipated reaction to the defeat of the April tax increase referendum.

The board unanimously voted to institute a pay-for-participation fee for sports at RB. Students will have to pay a $75 fee to be on an RBHS athletic team. The board also voted 6 to 1 to raise the basic registration fee by $25, upping it to $190 per student from $165, an increase of an increase of 15 percent. Laura Hruska cast the only vote against raising the registration fee.

Students from low-income families who qualify for the federal free lunch program will have their fees waived.

The pay-to-participate athletic fee and the increased registration fee is estimated to raise $97,480 in additional revenue for the cash strapped school according to documents provided by the RBHS administration. 

The board also trimmed $161,811 from the athletic department budget by cutting 21 assistant coaching positions, all three assistant athletic directors and one athletic trainer position. Every sport lost one assistant coaching position except for the football program, which lost two coaching positions.

The board also voted to eliminate 22 clubs and after-school activities for an estimated savings of $127,754. Those savings mostly come from eliminating stipends for teachers who served as club sponsors.

One club that was slated for elimination, the Ecology Club, was saved on a 5 to 2 vote after Hruska made a motion to preserve the club.

The cuts and fee increases are estimated to add a little more than $387,000 to the RBHS bottom line.

District 208’s interim chief financial officer, Tim McGinnis, said RBHS finished the just completed its 2010-11 fiscal year with an operating deficit of $1,835,131.