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Paynesville Press - June 20, 2001

School likely to charge admission to concerts

By Michael Jacobson

A committee report to the school board on Tuesday, June 12, indicated that a new policy of charging admission for music concerts seems likely,

However, the idea to expand user fees - now charged for participation in athletics - does not appear to be likely.

The idea of the discussion was to make sure that in this time of a tight budget extracurricular activities contribute to the district's revenue as well as its expenses. But charging participation fees turned out to be complex, and the Nonathletic Fees Advisory Com-mittee made no recommendation.

One fear was that fees would harm participation, especially for activities like pops choir and jazz band that already require students to voluntarily come to school at 7:15 a.m. for practice. Other activities - like student council, safety patrol, and the school paper and yearbook staff - provide a service to the school.

The marching band, on the other hand, does not receive school funds for transportation, relying on winnings and $40 per participant contributions. The district only provides the salaries for the band staff. Should students be charged participation fees, the band would expect the district to pay for its transportation, like other sports and activities.

The idea to charge for musical concerts - most likely $3 for adults and $1 for kids - is a starting point and not a final solution, said board member Deb Glenz, who served on the committee.

"This does not mean we will not have to look at fees for participation in the future," added superintendent Howard Caldwell.

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