The Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board has received a proposal from the administration to increase student fees for the 2014-15 school year.
The recommendations were discussed at the board’s Finance Committee meeting Monday night as a way to ease projected deficits in the district’s operating budget for the next fiscal year.
Currently the general student fee is $90 and the activity fee is $30 for grades kindergarten through fifth grade and $40 for grades six through eight. There is a cap, however, that limits the fee to the first two students in a family.
By removing that cap, the administration projects it would receive an additional $30,000 from the 465 families with two or more students. The largest family in the district, incidentally, has nine students in school, the committee was told.
Administrative waivers are available, however, for families experiencing financial hardships, and payment plans can be authorized for others, if needed, according to Kathy Zalewski, the district’s business manager. Fee waivers are automatically approved for families that qualify for free lunches.
The administration is also proposing a technology fee of $20 per student ($6 for students receiving reduced lunch), that would generate another $90,000 in revenues, it is projected, that would partially offset the growing cost of instructional technology.
Many of the neighboring districts, including Evanston Township High School District 202, also charge a separate technology fee, the committee was told.
The fee increase proposal could be on the agenda for a vote by the full board as early as its next meeting on April 28.