HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WMAR) - The boys of fall are back on the field in Harford County, but this time it comes with a price. The local school board voted to charge $50 for students who play sports and $25 to participate in activities.
"I'm thinking that before the activity even started, it should have been addressed to the parents," said Ronald Burch, a Fallston H.S. parent.
Harford County Schools says it's a score for them, but Edgewood calls it a big loss.
"We have people who work two jobs, to try to pay bills, to try to put food on the table. So now we're going to say to them you’re going to have to pay an extra $50. Where does that money come from," said Jansen Robinson, chair, Edgewood Community Council.
Jansen is hosting a meeting on Wednesday to try and help struggling parents.
"Even if it impacts a small percentage of students, that's a smaller percentage of students that won't have the opportunity. That may not have that drive or that incentive to stay in school," said Robinson.
The school board president says there was no other choice after the county turned down their request for $20.2 million to balance the budget.
Nancy Reynolds says, “The participation fee structure, in addition to numerous other cost- saving measures, was implemented in order to allow us to minimally impact the students in the classroom.”
Kevin Medicus is a wrestling coach at Fallston High.
"I'm hoping that it doesn't come down to we're losing a kid because this pay to play rule that's going into effect," said Medicus.
Parents will not be charged until their son or daughter's name appears on a roster. Still, those dollars don't make sense for many parents on the field.
"The board was looking at dollars. We have to look at what the potential harm is to children in this community," said Robinson.
That web page will launch on Wednesday morning with all the details, but we do know those students who qualify for free and reduced meals will not have to pay the fee.
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