Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2004

Priceless art: District nixes proposed fees

August 19, 2004

Eudora High School's budding artists won't have to shell out additional money for their projects, the school board decided last week. The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education didn't support a request to charge high school artists a $15 fee to pay for supplies.
The high school had asked for the fees to supplement the $1,500 to $2,000 needed for art supplies like clay, paint and canvasses that comes from the school's $18,000 fund for "consumables" like paper, pens and workbooks. Students pay out of pocket for additional costs, such as having their work framed.
Kobza said such a fee could be compared to one for wood shop, which has students paying for the materials that go into projects they can take home. With each of 100-some students taking art paying $15, the department would basically be self-supporting.
"If there's a fee that makes sense, this is one that does," Kobza said. "The kid gets something they can take home."
However, Kobza and other Board members didn't want to open the door for other student fees. For example, Lawrence students pay to play sports, and De Soto students pay bus fees if they live fewer than 2.5 miles of their school.
Students qualifying for free and reduced lunch could apply for a fee waiver.
"It's only 15 bucks, and if it gives the kids more options in their art class, it's a positive," said Board member Mark Chrislip.
At the same time, Chrislip said, seemingly small fees would add up if students were increasingly required to pay them for various classes and activities. Moreover, other Board members commented that $1,500 shouldn't pose a hardship on the district budget.
"If we as a district can't afford $1,500 a year, we really need to look at things," board member Kenny Massey said.

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