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School board votes to remove some student fees, supply costs

In a move aimed at making public education more affordable for students and their families, the Clark County  Board of Education voted Tuesday night to shoulder the cost of copier lease agreements in the district’s schools and eliminate certain costs that have in the past been passed on to students.

With the savings generated from not having to pay copier costs, the individual schools are able to eliminate student fees used to pay for printing, binders and class-related items.

In addition, the schools will be able to purchase all needed supplies at the beginning of the school year, so parents will not be sent a list of supplies to purchase in the fall.

Superintendent Paul Christy said the move was one step toward a long-term goal of making public education in the district completely free.

“We have a lot of families that have trouble just buying clothes for school, let alone supplies,” Christy said. “This will go a long way toward providing free public education.”

Fees for extracurricular activities, clubs and sports remain unaffected by the change.

The board approved the decision 4-1, with board member Scott Hisle opposed. Hisle said he was in favor of eliminating the supply costs for students and their families, but he would have preferred the board complete its budget process before eliminating the fees themselves.

“That’s the only objection I had to it,” Hisle said. “It’s a good deal of money, and administration says we have the money to do it but I wanted to be able to verify that myself.”

In a separate board item that will further reduce costs for some students, the board unanimously approved an expansion to the USDA Community Eligibility Provision program, which provides free school meals to students, to include George Rogers Clark High School, Roberrt D. Campbell Jr. High and Phoenix Academy. As part of the program, the district receives monthly federal reimbursement to cover the majority of meal costs.

With the expansion, all students in Clark County from preschool to grade 12 will receive free breakfast and lunch at school.

In other business, the board:

—Approved a service contract between Clark County Preschool and Kentucky River Foothills Head Start.

—Approved a memorandum of agreement with Mountain Comprehensive Care for mental health services at the schools.

—Approved a memorandum of agreement with Bluegrass Comprehensive Care for mental health services at the schools.

—Approved a contractual agreement totaling $32,000 with Clark County GIS Board for mapping services.

—Approved pay applications totaling $189,878.95 to Insulated Roofing Contractors for the Campbell Roofing Project.

—Approved a pay application totaling $172,839.95 to Insulated Roofing Contractors for the Maintenance Facility Roof Project.

—Approved a pay application to insulated Roofing Contractors totaling $147,350.16 for the Campbell Jr. high School Partial Reroof Project.

—Approved a maintenance facility renovation for the purpose of relocating the Technology Department totaling $44,895.81.

The following fees have been eliminated for the 2017-2018 school year:

Elementary schools

—$15 for planners, newsletters, folders and other supplies

—$15 for choral and festival registration

Baker Intermediate

—$40 for social studies and science consumables

—$25 for costs related to orchestra

Campbell Junior High

—$50 for band instrument rental

—$12 for world language binders

—$25 for orchestra equipment repair and upkeep

—$40 for school costs including locker fees

George Rogers Clark

—$65 for copier lease, paper, lab materials and various consumables

—$20 for consumable flowers used in floral design class

—$20 for Serv Safe licensing, chef coats and food items in culinary arts

—$20 for clay, glaze and other materials used in ceramics projects.