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Boardmembers OK fees for next school year

By Holly Fesperman Lee

Salisbury Post

Members of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted 5-to-2 Monday to approve a list of high school fees for the 2007-2008 school year.

Board member Dr. Jim Emerson raised the issue earlier this year and Dr. Alan King, assistant superintendent for administration, accepted the task of investigating the status of high school fees.

King presented a list of fees for next school year that he and a committee of principals and other school officials compiled.

Fees are as follows:

* AP exams — cost is determined by the College Board. Waivers for fees may be granted by making applications through the school guidance office.

* Art — $25 fee for art courses above Art I.

* Band — $20 fee charged to all students issued a band uniform. The fee is for uniform cleaning and maintenance.

* Computer disks — $1.

* Career and Technical Education Certification Exams — Cost will be determined by the cost of the certification exam. Waivers for fees may be granted by making application through the school guidance office.

* Career and Technical Education Courses — cost to be determined based on the course and the student product to be taken home by the student.

* Graduation cap and gown — cost to be determined. The fee covers the costs of the school purchasing the cap and gown for the graduation ceremony.

* Gym suits — $20.

* Lifetime recreational sports — $20 fee covers the entrance/participation fees and transportation costs.

* Locks — $10. Schools require school-purchased locks as a safety issue with allows school personnel to access them when necessary.

* P.E. — $15 fee charged to all students taking an elective P.E. above the ninth grade required course. The fee will cover the costs of towels, detergent, and any needed supplies for the advanced programs.

* Parking permits — $35.

* Science lab fee — $10 fee charged to cover the cost of lab materials for physical science, all chemistry and biology courses.

* Sports medicine/kinesiology — $10 fee to cover tape, bandages, and other supplies needed.

* Extra transcripts — $5.

* Medical/immunization records — $2.

King presented all fees individually. When he reached the science lab fee, Emerson said, “That’s another one I’ve got heartburn with.”

He pointed out that those science courses are required and he didn’t feel the school system should charge for required courses.

He said he felt that people pay taxes and the schools ought to cover lab materials just like textbooks.

“I’m just amazed we don’t furnish that,” he said.

Emerson asked King if science was the only required course that carried a fee. King replied that students were also required to purchase uniforms for the ninth grade P.E. course. That course is also required for graduation.

Board member Kay Wright Norman asked King if he’d seen evidence that “these fees are creating hardships for students.”

King said he didn’t think it was a problem because if students can’t pay, principals work with them over a period of years and are sometimes still trying to collect fees on graduation day.

Emerson asked what the $25 for an advanced art course covered. King gave the pottery class as an example and told him it covered clay and dyes.

King said most students in the upper-level art courses didn’t mind paying the fee because they are very dedicated, want to be in the course and appreciate that the opportunity is available.

Board members voted to approve the list of fees, Emerson and board member Kyle Huffman cast the dissenting votes.

Contact Holly Lee at704-797-7683 or hlee@salisburypost.com

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