Students enrolling in Jordan District schools next fall will find their fees have increased.
Tuesday night, board members approved increases in activity and student fees, for district high schools, including a controversial doubling of fees for debate - from $15 to $30.Activity fees, paid by all students and used to help underwrite the costs of athletic events, dances and other activities, will rise from $20 to $25. Book deposits will remain at $30, with $10 refundable for books returned in good condition.
Fees for participation in athletics and other school activities were raised by $5 each, except for the debate fee.
The charge for driver education also was increased by $14 to a total of $30, bringing Jordan in line with other Wasatch Front districts and providing income to support a salary increase for driver-education trainers. The district has covered a deficit in the $300,000 program for several years.
Several board members protested the $15 increase in the debate fee, noting that debate is an academic activity and one that prepares students for real-life situations.
"I am astounded that the debate fee is being doubled," said Board Member Maurine Jensen. However, she said, after studying the issue, she is convinced that the increase is necessary because of the high costs associated with debate competition.
"I hope it won't keep anyone from participating," she said.
Board member Jane Callister voted against the fee increases. "I am disturbed that the costs are going up when there is no more money coming into our homes," she said. Rising school fees are a burden on many families.
The activity fee is charged to all students, although many don't attend events, she said. Those students are subsidizing those who do attend. The district may have to consider raising the gate fees for those who participate in activities, rather than continuing to raise the per-student fee.
Thomas L. Owen, a district administrator, said it was necessary either to raise fees or cut programs.
The district has fee-waiver guidelines to help families that can't afford to pay the fees, said Board Vice President Linda Neff. Each district household receives the guidelines by mail.
High school fees for 1991-92 students
Activity fee $25
Driver education 30
Music rental 25
Drill team 15