CASPER, Wyo. — Beginning next school year, parents and guardians in Casper will no longer be asked or required to pay classroom or school fees for their students.
Some teachers think the Natrona County School District school board’s decision to eliminate the collection of such fees may be problematic, particularly for classes like art and wood shop.
Natrona County Education Association President Dirk Andrews spoke on behalf of some teachers during a Monday, June 10 school board meeting.
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He told the Board of Trustees that there could be “unforeseen consequences for this decision long term.”
The district announced in April that $45 per student would be provided to each school to purchase classroom supplies, an amount they said was based off of historical supply lists across the district.
Each school’s budget committee would then determine how to distribute these funds to their teachers.
CY Middle School wood shop instructor Chris Newman told the trustees he was concerned how the decision may impact career and technical education classes since these classes demand greater material resources to facilitate learning.
Andrews said that NCEA teachers were also concerned that the decision may result in putting a greater burden on teachers to purchase their own supplies if the funding allotted to them proves insufficient to their teaching purposes.
However, Andrews said that the NCEA is open to exploring the idea for the first year, but asked that the district study the results of the decision and seek feedback from teachers before implementing the policy on an on-going basis.
“We want to support this idea, we just want to make sure it is best for all involved,” he said.
Andrews also said he thought the district should look into what other school districts do to provide classroom supplies and ensure that the financial burden on parents, guardians and teachers is kept to a minimum.
Beginning next school year, NCSD policy will also not allow the collection of admission or activity fees for sports events, clubs and other after-school programs.