Board reduces participation fees

HUBER HEIGHTS — The Huber Heights City School Board of Education on Thursday approved a decrease in the participation fees for athletics and extracurricular activities.

Athletics fees per sport are reduced from $428 to $350 with the family cap reduced from $1200 to $950.

Fees for band, Warriorettes and cheerleading is reduced from $225 to $200 while co-curriculars, including chorus remains unchanged at $75.

Huber Heights City Schools Treasurer Ann Bernardo told the Courier that the state budgets that are coming out have “been very favorable to the district.

“At this point in time, all three versions have us getting an increase in state funding which has helped us to now actually be able to hire some staff members back and include some money in the budget for materials and supplies,” she said. “We also believed it was important that we lower the participation fees a little bit to help students…We believe if the participation fees are lower, it will help increase our numbers, therefore that we’ll be able to cover a majority of those costs.”

“I think it’s tremendous that we can actually lower these; it would be nice if we could lower them even further — perhaps in the future we can, but for right now, that certainly helps the families, it should help our teams because more people can participate, hopefully,” board member Kelly Bledsoe told the Courier. “The fact that this lessens the financial burdens on the families of Huber Heights is really important to us, because we certainly want to encourage people to participate in athletics as well as in the arts and academic programs. By lowering the participation fee, it even helps the band students, the cheerleaders and the Warriorettes.”

Board member Anita Brock told the Courier that a lot of the credit for lowering the participation fees goes to the work that treasurer Ann Bernardo has done along with other administrators and Athletic Director Jay Minton.

“We all know how long it’s been and finally, we’re seeing light and I think it’s something that the community can see all of the hard work, unfortunately that the cuts have made,” said Brock. “But, we’re climbing back up that hill and the Every Warrior Plays plays a part in that —the hard work that those volunteers do. It’s a good day here.”

“I’m just glad that we can continue, right now, in the path of hiring employees and also touch the aspect of extracurricular and lowering that, so it’s a win win for everybody,” added Brock.

Wayne Athletic Director Jay Minton told the Courier he was very appreciative that the board was able to lower the participation fees.

“I think anything helps right now,” he said. “I think we’ve got to continue our efforts to fund raise with our Every Warrior Plays program and how important that program has become to athletics and the student athletes here at Huber Heights. So, we’re very appreciative they were able to reduce that.”

Minton said there would still be a payment plan in effect which would likely be made in installments of $117, $117 and $116.

“We’ll go forward from here and we’ll keep working hard to try to get it reduced even more in the future,” said Minton.

Bernardo, who will soon be leaving the district to become treasurer at Northmont on July 1, said the improvement in district finances and the ability to lower participation fees, means a lot to her.

“We’ve gone through a lot of struggles over the past few years, so to be able to help the students instructionally and athletically is awesome,” she said. “They have sacrificed a lot over the past few years (teachers and students), so to be able to give something back because of the state budget is a relief, is sound educationally and hoping to keep that child to be the most well rounded student.”