See How Much Athletic Fees Might Go Up Next Year

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Parents of Watertown middle and high school athletes may be shelling out more for their children to play sports in the fall.

The increase has been proposed by Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald to cover a shortfall of $90,000 in the athletic budget. The Watertown School Committee will debate whether to increase the athletic fees and by how much at their meeting on Aug. 5.

The recommended increase is $125 at the high school, which would make it $325. At the middle school, a $50 increase is proposed, for a total of $150, Fitzgerald said at Monday’s School Committee meeting.

“The (athletic fee increase) would raise a good portion of the shortfall, but not the entire amount,” said School Committee member John Portz, who chairs the Budget and Finance Subcommittee.

Some of the shortfall could also be covered by money left over at the end of Fiscal 2014. That fiscal year ended on June 30, but the final numbers are still being calculated.

The fee would cover a student for as many sports they would like to play in a year. Students from families who cannot afford the fee will be given a waiver.

At their next meeting, the School Committee will also discuss the activity fee of $25 that is included in the athletic fee for both the middle and high schools. Portz said that portion is supposed to be used for things like after-school drama, music and year book activities, but it does not appear that the money has been separated out.

The School Committee will decide whether to have a separate activity fee.

What do you think the proposed athletic fee increase? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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