Student-athletes in the Gilbert Unified School District could pay higher fees next school year under a plan proposed by school leaders Tuesday.
The idea was one of many being considered to help the district with a $6 million deficit it faces next year because of the failed budget override attempt. School districts in Arizona are funded by the state based on a formula that uses student enrollment. But district voters can tax themselves additional money to provide additional dollars. Most East Valley school districts have an override in place. But voters are asked to renew it to keep it in place and in November, Gilbert voters said, “no.”
Without the renewal, the district has to cut $6 million next year, another $6 million the following year and the final $6 million in the 2015-16 school year. The governing board could bring the override back to voters, as well.
Under the proposed student athletic fee plan, high school student participation fees would increase from $100 to $150 per sport and junior high student participation fees would increase from $75 to $125 per sport. These were the same ideas proposed by a community budget committee last spring, Superintendent Dave Allison told the governing board.
The increases would provide the district with an additional $500,000 next year, Allison said.
The Mesa Unified School District put a pay-to-play plan in place last school year. Students are charged $100 per sport, with a $200 per-student maximum. Higley Unified School District charges $100 per sport. Districts also put in place caps on how much families can be charged.
The Chandler Unified School District currently does not have districtwide athletic or activities fees. The Chandler governing board did discuss the option Wednesday night, but chose to table any action for at least two months. The Chandler board was presented a plan to charge $100 fee per sport, with a $400 maximum per family.
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