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District 300 increases student fees to improve safety

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 11:48 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 11:54 p.m. CDT

CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 parents at all grade levels will pay slightly more in registration fees to help fund future districtwide safety improvements like alarm systems, added security cameras and improved locks.

The focus on student safety in the Carpentersville-based school district comes after officials eliminated a safety line item in the 2010-11 budget to try and balance district finances.

It also follows a growing national concern over student safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newton, Conn., and similar incidents across the country, including a shooting earlier this week at a middle school in Roswell, N.M.

“This is an attempt to establish a budget item to ensure that safety remains the priority that our parents have told us they want it to be,” District 300 spokeswoman Allison Strupeck said.

The fee increase means elementary, middle and high school parents will pay $5 more to register their student for the 2014-15 school year. District board members unanimously approved the fee hikes Monday.

The decision means high school parents will pay $140 total in registration, middle school parents will pay $130 total, and elementary school parents will pay $120 total. District officials last increased registration fees in the 2009-10 school year.

The added money from the fees would be used to renew a safety line item in future budgets, Strupeck said.

Parents can expect a variety of districtwide safety projects in the coming years, including building lockdown alarm systems, added security cameras, improved visitation procedures and better communication systems with local police and fire departments.

Despite the increases, the district’s total fees for grades 1-12 this school year were far below neighboring school districts like Huntley District 158 and Elgin District U-46, according to District 300 figures.

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