Fee waivers cost Granite School District almost a quarter of a million dollars in the 1993-94 school year.
The majority of the waivers were for textbook and class activity fees, deputy superintendent Riley O'Neil told the Granite Board of Education Tuesday night.At the junior high school level, $51,061 was waived for students who couldn't pay book fees and another $11,731 in class fees. High school students requested $32,168 in textbook fee waivers and $30,050 for class fees. The waivers for activity fees in the combined levels totaled $57,456, O'Neil said.
The $246,990 in waivers for the recently completed school year compared with $90,905 for the previous year.
The quarter million in waivers has a significant impact on the district's budget, said Board Member Lynn Davidson.
Most Utah school districts have experienced an increase in the number of waivers requested and the amount of money involved as a result of a 3rd District Court ruling that demanded the districts adhere closely to state laws requiring waivers for needy students.
A legislative task force is studying issues related to school fees and is expected to make recommendations to the 1995 Leg-is-la-ture.
O'Neil told the Granite Board that of the 5,745 students who requested waivers, only 19, including 17 high school students, chose to "earn" the waiver by performing public service. The Legislature has passed a bill that encourages students to work in the school, the community or at home to repay the district for waivers. The provision is optional and, as O'Neil noted, does not offset the money loss to the district.
Granite District equalizes the effect of waivers across its secondary schools so schools with larger numbers of fee-waiver requests do not have a greater financial loss, he said.