Most fees holding steady in Mokena SD 159
BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent February 22, 2013 9:08PM
Updated: March 26, 2013 9:35AM
Fees for registration and extracurricular activities in Mokena School District 159 will remain at their current levels for the 2013-14 school year.
Transportation and Early Start program fees are still subject to change, however. The school board is expected to finalize those at its March 6 meeting.
The board voted this week to keep registration fees for kindergarten and Early Start at $168. For Early Start, the registration fee is separate from the yearly program fee that still is under consideration.
Registration for first through third grades will remain $216, and fourth through eighth grades will remain $234. Those totals include technology and locker fees, district finance director John Troy said.
The fees for all 15 extracurricular activities offered at Mokena Junior High and all five at Mokena Intermediate School also will stay at 2012-13 levels. Choir and band will remain extracurricular activities after being part of the curriculum in the 2011-12 school year.
Fees for extracurriculars range from $35 for percussion ensemble at the junior high to $250 for basketball.
The board said extracurricular activities can be added for next school year.
Joe Regan asked his fellow board members to consider reducing bus service fees, which are $200 for students living at least 11/2 miles from school and $375 for others.
He said buses are half-filled and the board should attempt to fill them by lowering fees “or get rid of half the buses.
“I’d like to see us do something,” Regan said. “This is two years in a row.”
Board President Patrick Markham suggested a cap on the expense to households with multiple bus riders.
As for the Early Start program, a $675 yearly fee per student was charged this year, the first program fee since its inception in 1997. The program faced extinction after the state said District 159 no longer qualified for Early Start funding.
The program holds two half-day classes for about 40 children ages 3 and 4 to prepare them for kindergarten. Previously, there was no cost to families other than milk money and incidentals.
Board member Kathy Moore asked whether the board had “any appetite to reduce the fees” for next year’s program.
“It was increased so much more than anything else,” Moore said.
The board expects to decide on those fees and transportation at its March 6 meeting, in time for Early Start program registration March 12.