The Greendale School District does not plan to have fee increases for students in the 2012-13 school year.
Erin Green, director of business services, told the board on a Feb. 6 meeting that there are few reasons why fees should not increase:
- Greendale School District fees are at comparable or above the levels of other districts in the region.
- Average family income has dropped back to 2002 levels in Greendale, income dropped nearly by $10,000 from last year. Free and Reduced (poverty measure) levels continue to increase, now up to 30% for elementary and 20% average for the district.
- The levels of NSF checks and past due fees has risen to over $6,000 this year. Prior years amounts have been in the $2,000-$3,000 range.
Over the last decade the district has gradually increased fees, except for last year.
"It is clear that many families are struggling," wrote Green in a report. "I have spoken with many families this year about fees and their inability to pay them, given the lack of employment in the Milwaukee economy."
Student Parking Fees
The board also spoke about the student parking fees. There has been talk within the community, school district and village about students parking on village streets instead of paying for the school parking lot, particularly on Catalpa Street.
Last year the daily fee increased from $1 to $2, because board members believed that this would encourage students to pay the annual fee of $160.
Board member Anne Szcygiel said that it looks as if though less students are parking in the lot from last year.
Green said the district gets a yearly $20,000 in parking fees.
Superintendent Bill Hughes said that when the parking fee was first placed students started parking on other residential areas, which led the Village to create 2-hour zoned parking. Hughes believes that students will continue to migrate further back into the residential streets if more parking restrictions are placed.
Student member Hayley Serketich said that she has noticed more students carpooling, but also said that it has become difficult for students from outside of Greendale to carpool and to afford the parking fees. Another reason she cited was that some students come in late and would rather save time by parking on the streets than go to the office and pay the daily fee.
Hughes brought up the possible option of having students who can't pay the fee do service hours in the high school.
The district will continue to monitor the issue.