Grayslake Elementary District 46 board members have agreed to raise school fees starting in the 2013-14 academic year.
Officials said the fee hikes are needed to generate an extra $30,000 or so in annual revenue. District 46 has been grappling with ways to stop a $2.2 million deficit projected for the 2013-14 budget.
By a 4-2 vote at a meeting this week, the school board approved raising school fees by $10 in grades one through eight in 2013-14. Kindergarten fees will rise by $25 in 2014-15.
“Just a reminder,” Superintendent Ellen Correll told the board, “we haven’t changed the kindergarten fees in years.”
Parents of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch will not pay the higher fees, officials said.
Board members Kip Evans and Michael Carbone were the dissenters. Carbone, whose four-year term ended at Wednesday night’s meeting, had argued the “nickel and dime” fee hikes are going on top of higher District 46 taxes that parents must pay.
In March, board members voted down a similar proposal to boost student fees.
However, some parents who spoke at a meeting last month said they were willing to pay higher fees to District 46 to help avoid program cuts. They addressed the board on an evening when officials voted against eliminating art and music programs for kindergarten through eighth grade for a potential $225,000 in annual savings. Cuts that have been made so far include the elimination of about 15 full-time classroom instructors for an estimated $750,000 in annual savings. Roughly another $200,000 is expected to be saved with the dismissal of four full-time special-education teachers.
Twitter: @DHBobSusnjaraCopyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.