District 833 athletic fees poised go up

/ 6 June 2012 / jennifer

Scott Wente, Woodbury Bulletin, June 6, 2012 –

Students likely will pay more to participate in some District 833 athletics and activities next year as an alternative to possibly losing extracurricular activities.

Fees for Minnesota State High School League sports and fine arts activities will increase by $25 for students at East Ridge, Woodbury and Park high schools under a proposal the South Washington County School Board is expected to act on later this month. It would be the first increase in nearly a decade.

Sports participation would cost $150 to $180, depending on the activity, and high school one-act play and speech would jump to $120 and $125, respectively. There are no proposed increases for the high school musical, spring play and newspaper; K-12 band; middle school clubs, newspaper, one-act play, downhill skiing and debate; and Community Education club sports.

The fee increases are proposed as an alternative to a $100,000 reduction in the three high school’s activities and athletics budget. The School Board sought the savings as part of a larger budget-balancing plan.

Even with the proposed increase, the district’s fees fall below what most Suburban East Conference schools charge, said Keith Ryskoski, assistant superintendent for secondary schools.

South Washington County Schools last raised athletics and activities fees in 2003, Ryskoski said.

Leslee Boyd, the board chairwoman, said she wants an annual family cap and a limit on how much a student is charged per season. There are students who participate in both sports and arts in the same season, she said.

“This would just keep it from becoming a burden,” she said at a May 24 meeting, adding that the district wants to encourage student participation in extracurricular activities.

The board is expected to vote on the fee increases June 28.