Pay-to-play fees cut

Perkins Schools dealing with new reality.
Alissa Widman Neese
Nov 20, 2013

The days of drastically inflated pay-to-participate fees were short-lived for Perkins Schools families.   

About five months after implementing the policy, all five school board members agreed Tuesday to slice the district’s costly fees in half at a special meeting.     

Students will now pay $365 for high school sports this year.   

At a glance
Pay-to-participate fees approved Tuesday
• High school athletics: $365
• High school clubs: $50
• High school band or choir: $110
• Middle school athletics: $92
• Middle school clubs: $50
• High school dual-enrollment classes: $150

The decision is effective for the entire school year, meaning any students who paid to play sports during the fall season will receive refunds or credit toward future activities.   

“It was a difficult decision to set the fees where they were,” board member Terry Chapman said. “To turn around now and do   this today is additionally a difficult decision for this board.”   

The move came less than a week after board members agreed to abandon plans to pursue a building project, and they returned a portion of funds back into the district’s operating fund. In 2011 the board moved the operating funds, called “inside millage,” into a separate account used for building projects.       

The move quickly depleted the district’s operating money, with voters rejecting multiple tax levy proposals to restore it.   

One of the aftereffects: To keep the district’s athletic budget afloat, student pay-to-participate fees skyrocketed, with high schoolers paying as much as $730 per sport this school year.   

The millage move will return about $1.4 million to the district’s operating fund each year, superintendent Jim Gunner said. The district will receive about half that amount in the current school year, with the first payment collected in February.   

The district’s annual budget is about $21 million. Of that, the annual athletic budget is about $600,000.   

“In terms of our total budget, this is a relatively small pool of money,” board president Matt Kosior said. “Our new five-year forecast will demonstrate we’ll be in need of a levy soon. We’re obviously not out of the woods at this point.”   

Perkins Schools is currently updating its five-year financial forecast, which should be available in December, treasurer Lisa Crescimano said.   

Additionally, once coaches submit their winter sports rosters, the district will notify each student about their potential refunds or balance of funds due, which Crescimano is currently calculating, she said.   

Board members haven’t determined fee amounts for the upcoming school year.   

About 20 people attended Tuesday’s meeting, with two questioning the specifics of fee prices and collections and one speaking in favor of the board’s decision.  




I and a lot of other people are glad the BOE made this decision although I am sure it was tough. It is another step in the right direction to bring the community back together to support the school system! Although the community does not know all the figures when it comes to the districts finances the board has to communicate and keep a positive perspective when dealing with the community. Thanks again and let's all move forward in a positive direction!


The athletic director will now only make $100k a year. Just kidding!


@George>> Google is paying 75$/hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. On sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. its the best-job Ive ever had.It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out

Raoul Duke

I still say that the only thing a kid needs is, to learn how to handle a weapon properly, and to identify the enemy.


Is that $365 per sport or for the whole year? Per sport, it still seems high.


Per sport


Is band and choir mandatory classes or elective? If mandatory I don't get the fee.




It really shouldn't be about mandatory or elective. It should be about whether it's academic or recreational. Do students receive academic credits toward satisfying graduation requirements, and a grade that affects their GPA and is reported on their transcript? Music is an academic subject, football is not. The schools job is to educate, not to entertain.


I said it before, if each sport had to pay for itself football would be free and all the other sports would triple in price. Football is not the problem, it's a huge money maker for all sports. You don't get 5,000 people showing up to watch the swim team.


Oh well, that's life. No one will pay to watch me do a lot of things I like to do, but they'll pay a gazillion dollars to watch Lady Ga Ga sing derivative songs dressed like a carnival freak. Life is SOOOOOO unfair. You choose your recreational preferences with your eyes open, and live with the consequences of your choices.

I happen to like sports that draw no spectators and for which no high school will probably EVER have a program. Do you see me asking you to pony up to pay for gas for my dirt bike, or to buy me a new SCUBA regulator or a new pair of ski boots?


You brought up football, I was saying that football isn't what you are paying for, it is self sufficient. If you need a couple bucks for fuel, let me know buddy, we can go ridin.


Football is an example of a sport; I could just as easily said synchronized swimming or badminton.

I have the fuel covered; what I need is a place to go riding that isn't 3 hours away.


That's what I'm saying. I ride on 4 wheels but we fight the same fight. Nowhere around here to ride without getting harassed or ticketed


Hey babymomma, I'm not sure where you watch regular season high school football games with 4,999 other people, yes HUGE money maker, also HUGE expenses that go with it .try not to miss a football game, never been to a swim meet, i know you got water ( which they reuse ) a small swim suite, boys even smaller, shower cap, and a couple towels, maybe some flip flops,total cost still cheaper then one helmet


Yea that's it. Chemicals, filtering, and heat are all free. That's just a start. Bus drivers for away meets, gas, etc. I'm not dissing the swim team, I love to swim and Michael Phelps is a stud. I just pointed out football pays it's own way. Get off my nuts.


Wow a babymomma with nuts ! I know your like 6"2 260 something with a beard, now that's an ugly woman. Are you sure they totally pay their own way ? Where are you getting your info from, the"4999" people you sit with at an sbc game ?


I don't know how many people the stadium holds, and I really don't care. I'm just bored so I mess with people. I do know that I'm sexy . Big beard, big tater tots, small bank account......what's not to love? Find something you enjoy to do besides making fun of someone that you don't know. Am I woman, a man, or both??? Am I a nerd with pale skin and no muscle tone? Am I covered in tattoos and a tough guy? Am I a smokin hot stay at home mom? Or a whale of a mom? If only they made me sign in with my facebook I couldn't be anonymous. Lol


Extreme sarcasm on the facebook comment by the way


Lol babymomma.. Lol

looking around

LOL.....this is Peggy.....LOL



From following your posts during the past several weeks, it's obvious you have an educated opinion, and that is appreciated. It is something that has been somewhat lacking on this site.

You have an opinion, which you are fully entitled too, on Athletics that seems to be centered on the premise that they are pure entertainment, that there is no educational value in them, and therefore should be fully funded by those who participate, not the school district. Please correct me if my read on your opinion is wrong.

I and many others disagree with your opinion. Without going into a long explanation, our opinion is that educational value does exist in athletics, for numerous reasons, whether or not it is a grade on the report card.

If we are to start requiring participants to fully fund certain aspects of the educational system, where does it stop? Why stop at the report card? If one doesn't think French has value, or Drama, why not make them fully paid by the participants? These are not my opinions, just examples. I also understand that by law there are certain subjects that are required, and those that are not.

Richard Cranium

Well they figured they would squeeze people into passing the levy by charges mega fees. Since that didn't and the levy failed, they lowered it. Nice. Why didn't they have a $365 in the first place? How do you all of a sudden drop fees by 50%?


Because they moved money back into the general fund. Read the article, let it process, then type. You will look less foolish.

Thomas Paine

To continue a discussion on another school blog, about Private schools vs. Public and running a school like a business. I came across this article today. The dispatch historically leans to the right a little in its reporting. So I found this interesting.


What's your point?

Thomas Paine

Nothing to do with Pay to play; just food for thought about education in general. I believe you were advocating private education over public education. If I remember correctly. Both systems can work and both have their own issues. From a centrist point of view merging the two ideas together would be in everyones best interest. I think we all lose if the pro private group "wins" over the pro public or vice versa.


Here's why public isn't a viable option. You cannot effectively educate without indoctrinating. The kids who want to learn, whose families value education and pass on those values - they will learn anywhere. The ones who don't want to learn, who don't value learning - you can't educate them without telling them their priorities and values are crap, and instilling new ones. That's a problem if the government is running the school in a country that guarantees freedom of conscience. You can't have effective public schools without taking a big steaming turd on the First Amendment.

There are a lot of things that you can't have the government do and still have a free country. Education is one of them.

Thomas Paine

Please explain how public education violates first amendment rights? Are you suggesting we would be better off not educating children whose families don't value education? Its a petty stance to have if thats what you believe. Its also insulting. My father was given an opportunity with public education to get out of poverty and get away from family that didn't value education. He was able to put me through college because public education existed. And if you believe private industry, church, home schooling or any other kind of education doesn't 'indoctrinate' you are kidding yourself. Even our founding fathers believed in public education. The opportunity for a basic education should never be just for the wealthy or children whose families value it.

Thomas Paine

And just because we are a 'free' nation doesn't mean we should have zero laws, regulations or some form of government. The idea that we are truly 'free' and not bound by some kind of society is absurd.