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Costs of public education increasing

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Waxahachie, other schools, looking at ‘pay-for-play'
The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - The costs of 'free' public schools are increasing.

From school supplies and parking passes to more property taxes, parents - and even teachers - are having to cough up funds to pay more student-related items.

In Waxahachie, officials there proposed charging fans attending Indian football games $5 to park in the Lumpkins Stadium parking lot; there was also talk of charging athletes and students involved in extra-curricular activities a fee - commonly referred to as pay-for-play - but no final decision was made on the proposal.

Parking passes at Midlothian High School were $1 three years ago, but now the cost has jumped to $20.

Even school lunch prices are going up, from the average $1.25, to about $2.

Districts claim their budgets are getting tighter with drops in state aid and higher teacher salaries; that, in turn, increases the burden local property taxpayers must pay.

Both the Midlothian and Waxahachie school districts will soon see a portion of their local property tax dollars sent off to the state as part of the 'Robin Hood' school finance system.

Though their district's policy prohibits them from going on record, teachers at

several Ellis County schools said their costs, too, are increasing. Much of the supplies needed for the classes that cannot be provided by a student's parent must be made up from teacher's out-of-pocket expenses.

And the issue of charging football players to play has only affected one school, Waxahachie, it's also being looked at from other schools, but would include all activities.

'It's not worth [paying $150],' said Red Oak High School trainer Karen Dalton, a junior. 'They should be paying me for standing out in the heat.'

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