In tight budget times more school districts have turned to pay-to-play fees as a source of new funding, but in Stafford County, a plan to start collecting those fees hit a wall -- the Board of Supervisors.
The School Board recently decided to start collecting participation fees from students of up to $100 for each activity, but though the Board of Supervisors approved the district’s budget, it rejected the student activities fee. The supervisors are withholding a half million dollars until the school board finds roughly that amount in cuts.
“We think, let’s find that $600,000 from within that budget instead of adding another $600,000 in cost to Stafford families,” Supervisor Cord Sterling said.
Sterling strongly suggested the school district make administrative cuts, but School Board member Stephanie Johnson said deep cuts have already been made, and more could hurt instruction.
Sterling wants the cuts to come out of administrators, not teachers.
“We don't want to see attrition on teachers,” he said. “We don't want to see attrition where it results in high classroom sizes. If we're talking attrition with administrators they've added, we're comfortable with that.”
Other northern Virginia school districts have already turned to activities fees.
The superintendent is huddling with staff to develop a cost-cutting proposal in time for Tuesday’s School Board meeting.
Teachers will still get pay raises, and there is not threat they’ll get pink slips.