School sports fee hike rejected

"Sue Williams seemed surprised Monday night when the school board gave her exactly what she wanted.Williams went to the microphone to complain about an increase in the fee charged athletes to participate in high school sports. This year the school district had planned to approve the ASB budget which called for raising the fee to $35 from last year's $30.Apparently, some athletes this summer have paid the $35. Fall sports practice began Aug. 20.Another five dollars doesn't sound like much, but . . ., said Williams, who then rattled off a list of sports-related expenses facing parents of athletes. She also pointed out that the district's long-term goal has been to eliminate the athletic fee rather than increase it.Martin Laster, superintendent of schools, cut the discussion short by telling Williams and other parents present that the fee increase won't happen. The topic came up, we heard, we decided to delay any increase in ASB fees, Laster told Williams, who looked surprised but pleased.Mike Johnson, high school principal, said parents and athletes expressed an unwillingness to pay the extra $5. As a result, last year's $30 fee will be retained. Anyone who has already paid $35 can get a refund or have the extra money applied to the next sports season, Johnson said.Also axed was a planned increase of the family sports pass from $75 to $100.Johnson said he will have to tell ASB officers that their proposed budget was rejected by the board. "

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