District to give families a break on student fees

They won't increase for 2010-11 school year

April 6, 2010

West Allis — Citing the bad economy impacting families in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, the School Board has decided not to raise student fees in the 2010-11 school year.

Under the administrators' proposal, fees tied to school lunches, sports, technology usage, music instrument rental and parking, as well as annual mandatory school fees, will be the same as the current school year.

Against past practice

The decision is a departure from past practice - fees have generally increased slightly from year to year.

Superintendent Kurt Wachholz said administrators cannot guarantee they will not raise fees in future years, "but we will do all we can to continue to make things as cost effective as possible."

The School Board passed the measure on a voice vote March 22.

An issue everywhere

West Allis-West Milwaukee is not alone in pondering the issue of student fees - many area school districts have struggled with finding a balance between raising revenue to address major budget problems while not burdening already-cash-strapped residents.

In Whitnall, the School Board waived almost all student fees for the 2008-09 school year but recently decided to reinstate them for next year. Many parents told School Board members they did not mind paying fees if it meant programs, such as athletics and music, would be kept intact.

Greendale school officials are considering raising fees next year to help make up for an expected budget deficit of around $600,000.

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