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LWSD adjusts middle and high school activity fees

At its June 23 meeting, the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) board of directors made adjustments in student fees for middle and high school students for the 2014-15 school year.

Specifically, the cost for Associated Student Body (ASB) membership cards will increase while athletic participation fees will decrease.

Athletics fees rose significantly in the 2009-10 school year as part of budget cuts required after significant cuts in state funding during the recession. After a lengthy public process, parents and community members favored higher fees rather than teacher layoffs or cuts to classroom services. As a result, LWSD's high school athletic participation fee of $275 per sport has been the highest in the area since then.

"We appreciate that our community put its priority clearly on keeping resources in the classroom," said Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce. "Through these efforts, our district was one of the few that did not lay off teachers at that time. Now that our budget picture has improved somewhat, we wanted to bring our athletic fees closer to those in surrounding districts and reduce that burden on families."

The high school participation fee will be $200 per sport in 2014-15, a reduction of $75. No individual student will pay more than $400, no matter how many sports they play. The old cap per student was $550. No family will pay more than $725 in athletic participation fees to the same school, down from the previous cap of $1,000.

The cost per sport in middle school will be $75, a reduction of $40. The maximum for an individual student will be $150, down from $210. The cap for fees for a family to the same school will be $225 at middle school, as opposed to $315 last year.

Families who are unable to afford the fee can apply for a fee waiver.

ASB fees, which had not been increased since 2006, rose by $5 at the middle school level from $20 to $25. The cost at high school will be $50, up from $40. The exception is International Community School and Tesla STEM High School, where the ASB cost will be $30 since those schools do not have athletic programs.

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