OGDEN, Utah — The Ogden School District is making what they call a “bold move” to help classes be more affordable. The school board voted to waive registration and class-related fees but not athletic and extracurricular fees.
When Ogden School students come back this fall, they won’t be paying a $7 fee to use computers or a $40 fee to use textbooks.
The school board voted Thursday to waive the curricular and co-curricular fees to give relief to struggling families in Ogden.
“It’s about removing barriers for our students and creating some equity and still giving the programs the funding they need to be able to support our students,” said Ogden School District Superintendent Luke Rasmussen.
Curricular and co-curricular fees can add up quickly. Anywhere from $200 to $400 or per student depending on which classes he or she takes in middle school and high school, according to Rasmussen.
“This will remove a significant burden,” said Rasmussen.
The money will come from capitol project levy funds, typically used for major land purchases and building construction.
“If there are multiple kids in the family, it can really start to add up,” said State Representative Karianne Lisonbee, (R) Clearfield.
A recent legislative audit found Utah districts collected at least $70 million in school fees. Rep. Karianne Lisonbee passed legislation to make fees more transparent by 2022. She hopes other districts follow Ogden’s lead.
“It’s clearly a big impact on our parents and students in Utah,” said Rep. Lisonbee.
In Ogden, the waived fees cover registration and classroom fees and not sports or extracurriculars. The superintendent says Park City is the only other district helping families with education fees.
Not everyone is on board. Speaking anonymously, a teacher with the district told FOX 13 News, “I think the idea is wonderful, but I think teachers will end up paying for more supplies in the end to make up for lack of fees.”
That teacher said they expect to spend $1,000 in school supplies in the upcoming year.