Pay-to-play fees will soon be no more in Brighton Area Schools.
School Board of Education members voted 6-1 to eliminate fees over a span of two years beginning with a 50 percent drop this fall followed by eliminating the remaining 50 percent during the 2013-2014 school year.
With this schedule, the district will lose $120,000 this year.
Board Secretary Beth Minert cast the lone dissenting vote. Minert voiced her concern that the athletics budget is not self-sustaining and never will be, along with the district anticipating losing approximately $40 per student, depending on state aid.
Superintendent Greg Gray had brought the newly adopted schedule along with two other possible . Other options included 100 percent elimination that would cost the district $240,000 or a four-year elimination plan that would cost the district $60,000 each year.
Previously, the cost to participate in school organized sports at the high school level was $175 per student, per sport, with a family cap of $600 or $100 per student, per sport at the middle school level. Also any students who qualified for free or reduced lunches were not required to pay the pay-to-play fee in Brighton schools.
Brighton High School Athletic Director John Thompson said this schedule will help parents reduce the burden of doing things for their kids.
"Our participation numbers have been pretty consistent, and actually, they were up a little bit this year," Thompson said. "But I would hope that with the reduction, it would give both our students and their parents a little more willingness to maybe take a look at adding a second or a third sport that they're not participating in now."
Thompson said he will continue to provide assistance help to families who cannot afford pay-to-play fees.
"We're always going to take care of kids. There are people that contact me every year that are just having a tough go of it. I'm always going to take care of a kid -- I'm not going to let him not participate because of money."
Thompson said he hopes the fee reduction will help the cases he doesn't hear about.
For more information about pay to play fees this fall, contact the Brighton Athletic Department at 810-299-4184.