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D-300 may keep student fees flat

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – District 300 is contemplating keeping all student fees flat for next year, a decision the administration said is meant to save parents money in a slow economy.

Annual registration fees from kindergarten to high school and tuition for the Carpentersville-based district’s numerous preschool and kindergarten programs will be kept in line with current rates under a proposal presented to board members Monday.

The district found that its fees were about average compared to neighboring districts such as Huntley District 158. The large unit district last raised annual registration fees in 2010.

“Let’s maintain all of our fees due to the current economy,” Chief Financial Officer Susan Harkin told members of the district’s financial panel before introducing the flat fees to the full board.

Harkin said the administration tinkered with the idea of raising tuition rates for the district’s select preschool and kindergarten programs, but she said the administration didn’t want to overburden parents with tuition hikes while the district prepares to relocate the early-education programs to make room for lower elementary class sizes mandated by the new teacher contract.

The current rates for preschool programs range from $130 to $245 a month, depending on the length of supervision. The district’s full-day kindergarten academy carries a tuition rate of $225 a month.

Annual registration fees for kindergarten through 12th grade this year include $100 for kindergarten, $125 for middle school and $135 for the high school level. Other optional fees cover additional schooling and driver’s education at the high school level.

Board members will vote on the flat fee structure during their Jan. 28 meeting. Some members were strongly in favor of consecutive years of flat fees, arguing parents simply can’t afford more costs.

The proposal comes nearly a month after the board voted to increase its property tax levy that would raise taxes by $144 for a homeowner with a home valued at $200,000.

“I wouldn’t look at changing anything because you’ll run a rough challenge with that with the public and probably some of the board members,” member Chris Stanton told the finance panel.

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