The Milaca school board voted to adjust athletic and activities fees during its May meeting.
The recent adjustments change the full price lunch and free price lunch fee amount to $150 and $50 while the reduced lunch price remains at $100 for volleyball, swimming, cross-country football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, track, golf, speech and marching band. Activities fees, which includes FCCLA, FFA, jazz band, chamber choir, robotics, Fall play and One Act were dropped to $75 for full price lunch, $50 for the reduced and $25 for the free lunch price.
Also added is a family cap, starting at $300 for a single child, increasing by 300 per child and capping at $1500 for five or more children.
Brian Julson, Milaca athletic director and dean of students, brought forth the commentary about the adjustments and explained the thought process of the changes made to the previous school year’s plan. “As for the activities fees, three major themes of frustration from families I heard this year was the 10$ difference between regular, reduced and free lunch status, activities being the same price as athletics and then no family cap or max so within this plan we tried to address all three of those areas within this new this model while still trying to offset the cost of co-curricular activities for the district,” said Julson on the activities fee’s structure.
Jeff Larson, Director of the Milaca School Board, raised concerns about the free lunch price as well as the family cap. “I have problems with the cap that goes up to $1,200-$1,500 for families that are already struggling to pay the bills for their children and their lives and we are going to charge them $1,500 for activities… It’s just too much,” said Larson.
Julson agreed with Larson, and aims to work towards a less expensive direction and for a compromise, but believe this is going to reduce activity fees for many families and individuals and promote participation. “We’re seeing it as parents are having to tell their child ‘you can be a three-sport athlete but you can’t do any other additional activities and so our memberships in FFA, FCCLA and robotics has really suffered,” Julson said.
He added: “I know it’s not a perfect plan but we are still trying to offset some of the cost of the district but also trying to put something out there and see how it goes. There’s more unknowns than knowns about the next school year but we are trying to come up with a solid plan for families and parents to work within these guidelines. We can always make adjustments the following year if need be.”