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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at jbranscome@freelancestar.com.

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State is weighing in on sports fees

Sports fees have attracted the attention of state educators.

The AP reports that Virginia’s Board of Education has updated state rules to specify what fees public schools are allowed to charge students and their families, and to require each district to have a clear policy in place and inform low-income families how they can get such costs waived or reduced.

Many Virginia school divisions are increasingly dependent on fees to help make up for drastic cuts in state education funding. As we know, three divisions in the Fredericksburg region are among them.

In Spotsylvania County, the School Board implemented a $100 fee per sport for middle and high school students to participate on sports teams this school year as a result of a roughly $15 million budget deficit. Students who qualify as economically disadvantaged are exempt from the fees.

Orange County school officials implemented fees for all extracurricular activities this year, charging $50 per activity in middle school and double that at the high school.

Culpeper County schools raised sports fees by $35 this year so that middle schoolers now pay $90 and high school athletes pay $100 per sport.

To read the rest of this story, see the Region section of today’s Free Lance-Star.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/gettingschooled/2010/10/20/state-is-weighing-in-on-sports-fees/