Panther Valley School District students will have to hustle up some cash to play sports. The school board on Thursday adopted a student activity fee policy that charges students $30 for one, then an additional $20 for the second, and $10 for a third.
The fees, meant to offset the cost of sports programs, would be levied on students playing any Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association team, or who want to join cheerleading. There would not be any refunds, except if a student fails the physical or is cut preseason or before the first game. The school district expects the fees to generate about $7,500.
The fees would be exempted for those students whose incomes are low enough for them to qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program. There are also personal or hardship exemptions, which superintendent Rosemary Porembo said would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
At the start of the public meeting, mother and teacher Jacqui Morgans spoke about the program, and asked the board to look at how other school districts with similar policies handle the low-income students. Morgans said she did not oppose the activity fee, but believed it was not fair to exempt low-income students from paying at all.
Board President Jeff Markovich said that there were only a few students in that situation. School Director Irene Genther suggested low-income students get summer jobs, like mowing lawns, to raise the money.