“I think it would mean a lot to the community,” said Board President Patrick Markham.
Transportation fees in Mokena cost $200 per child and cover 25 percent of district transportation costs. Any fee reduction would be compensated through funds allocated from the district levy.
One point of opposition surrounding a potential reduction is concern that the district will not have sufficient funds to provide the allocation and also remain within budget.
Director of Business Operations John Troy currently estimates a $100,000-$200,000 district surplus for the 2012-13 school year. Nevertheless, Troy cautioned the board that the levy could leave the district with a fund shortage, if the district receives only 98 percent of levy funds, instead of the estimated 99 percent.
“I don’t know if we’re going to be lucky enough to have a surplus,” said Board Member Scott Peters.
Troy recommended that the board opt not to reduce fees this year and that if they vote to reduce them in 2013-14, that the reduction total less than $40,000.
Potential reduction strategies include individual reductions per student and an aggregate reduction on family fees.
While Markham initially proposed reducing fees by as much as $50 per child, Board Member Mike Ford opposed such a steep cut. Markham and Ford requested that Troy prepare projections presenting the extent to which the district would be impacted by varying reduction amounts.
Board Member Kathy Moore proposed reducing fees for families with multiple children riding district busses. Moore requested that Troy calculate the fee cost for families with more than two students using district transportation if the fees were prorated to allocate $20,000 in reductions.
The board will review Troy’s reports at its next meeting and will then vote on whether or not to reduce the fees.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the board voted not to reduce registration or extracurricular fees for the 2013-14 school year. The fees will continue to generate a combined total of $343,000 per year for the district.
At Moore’s request, the board will discuss and vote on whether or not to reduce Early Start program fees at its next meeting.
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