Geneseo students may soon have to “pay to play” in an attempt to eliminate a $1.2 million budget deficit.

Geneseo students may soon have to “pay to play” in an attempt to eliminate a $1.2 million budget deficit.

School board members are considering raising registration fees for K-12 students as well as introducing per-activity fees for middle- and high-school students.

At the Jan. 11 school board meeting, board members heard a presentation from superintendent Scott Kuffel and chief school business official Tim Gronski on how to potentially eliminate the district’s $1.2 million deficit over the course of the next three fiscal years.

In an attempt to increase the district’s revenue, officials are asking school registration fees to be increased $18 per student. The increase would set K-8 fees at $117 and high school fees at $129.

Over the course of three years, the increase in registration fees could bring an additional $105,030 to the district’s coffers.

District officials are also asking for a $50-per-activity fee for students at Geneseo Middle School and Geneseo High School.

The new fee would mean a student who participates in football, choir, bass fishing and yearbook would have to pay $200.

For 3x4 athletes, those playing three sports all four years of their high school career, the total would be $600.

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch prices wouldn’t have to pay activity fees, said Kuffel.

In three years, the activity fees could potentially bring in $124,500 for the district.

“If you have five kids in the district, and they’ve involved in activities, it’s going to get expensive,” said board member Karen Urick, who noted she was in favor of a family price “cap” but was unsure what dollar amount that cap should be.

Members of the public attended several fall “LearningLEAF” sessions in which budget ideas were suggested.

Kuffel said, overwhelmingly, taxpayers without students in the district felt families with school-age children needed to shoulder more of the fiscal burden.

Kuffel said the fees, which he called “user taxes” were recommended in lieu of a property tax increase referendum.

Board member Barry Snodgrass said the students themselves could “take ownership” of the activities they wish to participate in by working summer jobs to raise the $50 fee.

At the middle- and high-school level there are currently 1,000 “participant price points” said Gronski. That total doesn’t mean 1,000 individual students are participating in activities, but instead takes into account things like a single student in three activities.

“It’s hard to tell what will happen to participation levels (if the fees are enacted),” said Gronski.

“I’d hate to see students saying, ‘I can’t participate,’ because of the fee,” said Urick.

School board president Doug Ford pointed out the district “has had activity fees before.”

“If a year from now we see participation in activities has fallen, we can review (the fees),” he said.

Board members are expected to vote on the fees at their Thursday, Feb. 8 school board meeting.

Among the activities that could be affected by the school district’s proposed $50 per-activity fee are:

Geneseo High School
• Baseball
• Basketball
• Bass Fishing
• Bowling
• Cheerleading
• Construction Trades
• Contest Play
• Cross Country
• Fall Play
• FFA
• Football
• Foreign Language Club
• Future Business Leaders
  of America
• Golf
• Group Interpretation
• Gymnastics
• Instrumental Music
• Key Club
• Link Crew
• Maplettes
• Mathletes
• Musical
• National Honor Society
• National Vocational
  Honor Society
• Ping Pong Club
• Radio Club
• Robotics
• Scholastic Bowl
• Soccer
• Softball
• Speech
• Student Council
• Studio Club
• Tennis
• Theater Crew
• Track
• Vocal Music
• Volleyball
• Wrestling
• Yearbook

Geneseo Middle School
• Basketball
• Builders Club
• Cross Country
• Instrumental Music
• Football
• Scholastic Bowl
• Student Council
• Track
• Vocal Music
• Volleyball
• Wrestling
• Yearbook