Pasco school district sees increase in student fee collections

More than three-quarters of families pay with credit cards.
Pasco High students attended an English composition dual enrollment course at Pasco-Hernando Community College in Dade City. [Times files | 2013]
Pasco High students attended an English composition dual enrollment course at Pasco-Hernando Community College in Dade City. [Times files | 2013]
Published August 14

For the first time in years, the Pasco County School Board reviewed and increased several student fees this summer, to take effect this fall.

On Tuesday, the board will revisit two of the changes. It will consider reducing the dual enrollment course fee to $5, from $10. And it will look at increasing the JROTC activity fee to $15, from $10.

The materials provided when the board first acted included the wrong amounts, district officials said.

Student fees are not mandatory, though they help support costs associated with the programs. Chief finance officer Olga Swinson has said the district does not expect to receive anywhere close to the full amount that would arrive if everyone paid.

Even so, schools reported collecting much more in fees this year than in the past — almost $2 million in total — as classes resumed Monday. Principals said they heard parents found it easier to pay using the district’s online system, which got some technical improvements over the summer.

More than three quarters of families paid with credit cards, with check submissions shrinking. And many schools saw the cash flowing through decrease by two thirds, district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.

The School Board is to receive the latest data as it takes up the proposed fee changes at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Land O’Lakes.

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