By Jessica Mathews /

Some fees will be increasing next year in Pinckney Community Schools.

The Board of Education met virtually Thursday night and voted to approve new facility rates, pay-to-participate fees and childcare rates.

As part of planned adjustments to the budget for the 2021/2022 fiscal year to align with the district’s deficit elimination plan, Latchkey rates will be increasing by $1 per session. That’s said to be competitive with fees at neighboring districts. That fee hasn’t been raised since 2018 and it was noted that it’s not a revenue generator but a matter of covering costs.

Facility usage rates will also be increasing by 5%. Built-in to that will be annual adjustments tied to the rate of inflation. The rates are developed in a three-tier system and the last increase was in 2014.

Finally, Pay-to-participate rates will also be going up $20 for middle school students and $30 for high school students. The last increase was in 2017 and there’s a family cap included. There were also said to be scholarships available and it was stated that if a student wants to play a sport, they make sure it happens. Rates will be reviewed at a later date and board members expressed a desire to not even have the fees but say that unfortunately, it’s not possible with how schools are currently funded.

Superintendent Rick Todd said athletics have changed and kids are involved almost year-round now and the reality is there’s more competition with places like the Legacy Center. He said providing athletics for free is a great option when schools are funded appropriately but there are gaps and inequity all around.

The final budget for the current year as well as the preliminary budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be presented for approval at the June 24th board meeting.

Todd noted that student enrollment has held steady since January and they’re moving in the right direction. Additionally, he said the district had zero COVID cases in the last week and commented about how much things have changed in three months’ time and he’s excited about moving forward.

Todd added it’s been a tough year and they want to pull back on protocols but it’s still too early to say what next year will look like. He said they’ll let parents and the community know as things progress and they receive guidance from the state and CDC but thinks that things will continue to change for the better.