Guilford schools’ superintendent proposing an athletic fee for students


Andrew Krech/News & Record

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon Contreras is proposing the district charge students a fee to play sports if they do not qualify for free or reduced lunch, the News & Record reported.

It’s one of several budget-balancing proposals listed, but not elaborated on, in a news release the district sent out last week. In that release, officials said the district is facing tough budget choices this year due to a K-3 class-size reduction mandate from the state and anticipated increases in pay and benefits, after eight years of budget cuts.

In North Carolina, local school districts may charge an athletic fee and the state does not set any limit, said Burt Jenkins, health, physical education and Title IX consultant for North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the state’s largest school district, instituted a fee starting in the 2010-11 school year. They charge $100 per season for high school students and $50 for middle school students.

Alan Duncan, chairman of the Guilford County Board of Education, said in a phone interview Tuesday that the board has discussed adding a fee at times over the past decade, but never acted on it. He wants to continue to learn more about the budget situation this year before taking a position on the issue.
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