The Olympia School District's improved financial health has paved the way for healthy decreases in the most expensive fees charged to middle school and high school students.Sadly, that Olympia is found in Illinois. Out here in Washington, we're at least two budget cycles away from sustainability.
After dropping the extracurricular and activity fees by one-third for the 2007-08 school year, the district has lowered them another third for 2008-09.
"We're very happy to do this for our students," Superintendent Brad Hutchison said. "It's certainly unusual to see a cost going down these days."
Andrew Wise, the district's business and operations manager, agreed.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback to the lower fees," he said.
The extracurricular fee is charged only to participants. All students pay the activity fee, which gives them free admission to regular-season home athletic events.
In an effort to keep extracurriculars off the chopping block, the district assessed a new $250 extracurricular fee and an increased $150 activity fee for the 2005-06 school year. Next school year, the fees will be $85 and $50, respectively.
But it can be done.
Sidebar: At least we're not the only Washingtonians in a pinch.