BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — Student fees for the 2013-14 school year may see a slight increase if Davis School Board accepts the adjustments proposed by a district committee.
Initially, a $2 increase in basic fees at the high school level (from $81.50 to $83.50) was proposed to cover software used by students.
That has been changed to a proposed $1 increase in fees for all junior high and high school students, since computers are more and more being used equally at both levels, said Call. The junior high basic fees would then run $62.50.
Lab fees for seventh and eighth graders would go from $5 to $10, an adjustment that would match fees charged to ninth-grade students.
“The lab needs for science teachers are as much in seventh and eighth grade classes as for other grades,” said Rick Call, secondary school director in the district.
A $5 increase in the cost of driver education (from $75 to $80) will cover the cost of new vehicles and vehicle maintenance.
Davis district fees average $30 less than those charged for the course in other districts.
The school’s fees for driver education are “significantly” below the commercial rate, he said, which can be around $300.
Fees for students participating in athletics could rise from $65 to $70 if the school board passes a policy on random drug testing of student athletes. That increase would pay for the cost of the lab tests.
In presenting the new fees, Call also proposed combining the amount allowed for cheerleading uniforms with the costs allowed for attending cheer clinics.
The total allowed for cheerleaders at the junior high level is $875, and $950 is allowed for students involved in cheer at the high school level.
Teachers and coaches have the option of charging less for everything from cheer to science labs.
Davis District charges relatively low fees, but the board challenged district staff on several of the fees listed.
“This is not the time to be asking anybody for more fees, with problems like sequestering going on,” said David Lovato, a member of the board.
Many families who move from out of state are surprised there are not fees charged at the elementary level, said Bowles.
In secondary schools, the fees make it so taxpayers don’t have to pay for everything, he said.
“It’s charging the users,” he said. “It works well.”
Fees for students who qualify for free lunch are automatically waived in full, according to Call. Students paying reduced amounts for lunches can pay partial fees.
“A lot of these fees are extra-curricular,” said Call. “Many of them are classroom and lab fees. We make a real concerted effort to hold these down.”