More than 30 percent of Juab School students probably qualify for fee waivers, district officials say.
The district has posted notices, mailed notices to each home and sent notices home with students to inform parents of the availability of waivers. An article on waivers also appeared on the front page of the district's newsletter.Superintendent Kirk Wright said state law does not permit fees at all in grades 1-6. A child in grades 7-12 is more than likely eligible for fee waivers if the student is eligible for free school lunch.
"Parents who receive any state or federal assistance likewise may be eligible to receive fee waivers," Wright said.
On the basis of the information submitted, school principals will determine, by following state and federal guidelines, if the student is, indeed, eligible.
An appeals process has been set up for those who disagree with the principal's decision. Parents can be asked to submit income tax forms as proof of their status.
"We can no longer hold diplomas or reports for outstanding fees," said Wright.
"Is there any way to tighten up?" asked a teacher at the board meeting. "Some people claim openly that they cheat in order to get free lunches."
Annette Barrett, district foods supervisor, does verify a certain percentage each year. However, each parent requesting a fee wavier could be requested to submit a W-2 form.
If children of a family work, said Wright, the income of the children should be reported. Sometimes that does not happen, he said.
The teacher said it appears middle-class students are the ones who suffer. "The poor and the wealthy can participate" in activities.
Fee waivers will have quite an impact on the programs at Juab High School, said principal Leonard Trauntvein.
The waiver will cover not only the $25 activity fee - which allows a student to attend sporting events, assemblies sponsored by the student body, pep assemblies and other activities paid for through student funds.