Sun editorial: Lisbon makes a statement with school fee elimination
July 23, 2012
Families will have more money in their pockets in Lisbon this year, thanks to action by the school board last week.
The board approved eliminating all fees - except for band instrument rental.
We've argued before that when it comes to public education, the taxes we all pay should cover the services. If they don't, the argument goes, we either need more revenue or need to reduce expenses.
Fees are really a tax on those who have kids in school. So in essence, the Lisbon School District has pretty much eliminated that tax.
Compared to two years ago, a family with an elementary, middle and high school student in Lisbon will save $187. That's real money. Consider, for instance, that $187 equates to 12 percent of a school property tax bill on a $175,000 home.
Comparatively, that same family will pay $135 to attend school in Mount Vernon this year, $225 in Solon and $147 in Anamosa.
We're not crying about those fees, but do hope Lisbon's action gets other school districts (and their constituents) thinking about fees.
It's also a reminder for every family that faces writing a check before school starts this year. The inset above details what fees schools can charge, and what ones they cannot.
Take a hard look at the fees you're being asked to pay, compare it to the list, and make sure you're getting a fair shake.
And if you have kids in Lisbon Schools, make sure to give a little thank-you to the board for this year's back-to-school gift.