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Macomb school district eliminates fees

Twomey-August 2017.jpg
Rich Egger
Macomb School District Superintendent Patrick Twomey

Macomb School Superintendent Patrick Twomey recommended the district waive activity and registration fees for students, and the Board of Education voted 6-0 in support of the plan for next school year.

"I can't predict the future, but if I could wave a magic wand it would be a permanent move," said Dr. Twomey.

Twomey said the amount of revenue generated by the fees varies from year-to-year. He believes the district has collected anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 a year in registration fees, and activity fees can range from $40,000 to $50,000. He said the district can absorb the losses while helping families in a community with a high poverty rate.

“I think it will be a huge boost to parents,” he said.

He also hoped the change will encourage more students to participate in school activities.

“What’s unknown is how many kids don’t come forward – kids who might want to participate in something but their family actually does not have the activity fee money,” Twomey said. “This removes all of the stigma that can come with that.”

Twomey said he was following the example set by other districts that have waived fees.

For example, Galesburg District 205 eliminated registration fees for all students several years ago. Participation fees for athletics and other activities were also waived in Galesburg.

School officials called it an attempt to remove financial barriers for families and level the playing field.

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