It looks as if pay-to-participate will expand to extracurricular activities other than sports next year at Riverside-Brookfield High School. The administration at the school is recommending that extracurricular clubs and activities be put on a pay-to-participate basis next year similar to what was instituted for athletics this year.
By charging students a fee to participate in clubs and activities, some of the 21 co-curricular clubs that were eliminated this year would be brought back.
Many parents and students thought it was unfair that so many clubs and activities were eliminated this year while athletic teams were preserved with pay-to-participate fees.
“We got that feedback loud and clear that it wasn’t fair to let some students pay to participate in things they were passionate about and not let others do that,” Principal Pamela Bylsma told the school board last week.
Under the proposal Bylsma outlined at the school board’s committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 28, students would have to pay either $75 or $100 to participate in a club or activity. Those in activities requiring travel would pay the higher fee.
“We’re trying to bring back as many opportunities as we can for kids and still be saving some money,” said District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis.
The administration is also recommending another increase in the basic registration fee for students. Bylsma recommended that the registration fee be increased 5 percent to $200, up from $190. Last summer the school board voted 6 to 1 to increase the basic registration fee 15 percent, raising the fee to $190 from $165.
The school board is searching out every opportunity to cut spending and raise revenue as it seeks to close a projected $1.6 million budget deficit next year in the wake of the tax increase referendum defeat last year.