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Pay-to-play fee gone as part of M'ville district's budget

MARYSVILLE – Students no longer have to pay-to-play in the Marysville School District.

That fee was excluded in the district budget approved by the school board Aug. 18. The budget is $126,600,000 for the 10,720 full-time students.

Finance director Jim Baker's budget shows the district had been bringing in $120,000 a year from pay-to-pay fees. They were instituted during lean budget years.

"District leaders recognize that the parents helped to support the athletic programs during this time and appreciate that support greatly," Superintendent Becky Berg said.

Baker added, "We are very pleased that due to the support of our local levy from the voters, and the fact that we were fortunate to not have to make severe budget cuts this year as we have over the past several years, we were able to restore some areas of the budget, including removing the need to charge the pay to play athletic fees."

Greg Erickson, athletic director for the district, shared that the removal of the pay to play fees will save families anywhere from $40 to $100 or more per sport, per child, for middle-level and high school.

Other costs in the budget are two new custodians for $114,000, a part-time middle school security officer, and $28,000 to re-establish a girls and boys basketball program in the middle school. There's also money for an after-school middle school bus and funding to add six buses to a fleet of about 100. For the first time in five years there also is money for more supplies in classrooms.

The biggest part of the budget is instruction, at $67 million. About 82 percent of the overall budget is for staff and benefits.The rest goes to supplies and materials, purchased services, travel and capital outlay.

Money from the federal government is down $10 million, but state money is up $8 million. Funds from local taxes, which were down last year, were up this year and now total $24,432,134. District spending is up $700,000 each of the last two years, but total revenue also is up $800,000 both years.

For the first time in about 10 years the budget will include technology money. The board agreed to borrow money from another fund so it could start updating its technology now. Voters passed a technology levy, but those funds won't be available until spring.

For more information about the budget, contact Baker at 360-653-0803 or email jim_baker@msvl.k12.wa.us.

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