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Mixed reactions seen to athletic fees as sports season continues


Jessica Watts

NORTH VALLEY – With a new school year comes change. This school year the Deer Valley Unified School District is dealing with more budget cuts. Back in May, the DVUSD Governing Board voted on an athletic participation fee. Schools have seen varied responses from families over the athletic fee, but many students continue to participate in school sports. 

The athletic fee helps balance the district’s budget. The money from the athletic fee will help pay for that particular sport’s fees and will contribute to the expenses of operating the DVUSD athletic programs. The athletic fee applies to seventh- and eighth-grade athletes ($60 per sport) and 9th-12th grade athletes ($100 per sport). The athletic fee has caps that include a $120 maximum per athlete for seventh- and eighth-grade athletes and a $200 maximum per athlete for 9th-12th grade athletes. Other caps include a $300 maximum cap per family/household.

An athletic fee hardship waiver is available to students who need help paying the fee. The only way a student can qualify for an athletic fee waiver is by submitting an athletic clearance packet. Students playing multiple sports must submit an athletic fee waiver for every new athletic season (fall, winter, spring).

According to Jim Migliorino, deputy superintendent of fiscal and business services for DVUSD, it is a little early to tell if the athletic fee has affected students trying out for sports because it is only fall.

“We have seen a number of students who have requested the waiver,” Migliorino said. “That is an indication the fee it is not an obstacle for participation.”

The athletic fee does not guarantee playing time, and there will be no refunds. If the athletic fee is not paid, the athlete will lose playing time until the athletic fee is paid.

According to Migliorino, there have been good and bad reactions to the athletic fee. The positive reactions include the caps for families and athletes, and most students pay more for club sports and other activities.

The negative reactions include students and parents are already paying large amounts of money to participate in other programs and this is just an additional fee.

With the new athletic fee, there will be additional responsibilities for athletic directors/coordinators/secretaries, coaches, parents/guardians, and bookstore managers to make sure the fees are taken care of.

Susan Perreault, athletic secretary at Sandra Day O’Connor High School, says there was a little confusion in the beginning about the athletic fee.

“The payment is not processed online so parents/guardians have to come into the school to pay the fee,” Perreault said. “This caused a little confusion because most payments are made through PowerSchool, but they are working on getting an online payment set up.”

Each school determines their own procedures for the issuance of the official tax credit receipts. For questions on how to pay the athletic fee, or how to get the athletic fee waiver go to your high school’s Web site or call the athletic offices for more informat