Parents of Greencastle High School students who play sports can expect to shell out a little more cash this season.
On Wednesday night, members of the school board voted 4 to 1 in favor of charging each athlete a one-time, flat fee of $12.50 to ride the school bus to and from games during the season.
Students who participate in more than one sport will be required to pay the fee for each sport they play, school officials said.
Greencastle Superintendent Bob Green said the fee is necessary to help the corporation meet rising fuel costs. On Tuesday, he told the school board that fuel costs for the corporation are averaging $5,000 more per month over last year.
"The dollars are not there to cover all the things we used to do," Green said. "In my opinion, the transportation fund cannot be stretched."
GHS Athletic Director Scott Knapp said the estimated cost of fuel for sporting events for the year is a little more than $5,000. There were 443 student athletes at the high school last year, which is roughly how the school board arrived at the $12.50 fee.
Students at Greencastle could have had to pay up to $35 each if school board members hadn't tweaked the proposal given to them at the beginning of Wednesday night's meeting.
The original proposal called for students to not only pay for fuel but to pay for the bus drivers' salaries as well.
The combined total of fuel plus the bus drivers' pay was a little more than $15,000, which meant students would have had to pay about $35 each -- something board members said they would not support.
They said they did not think the students should not have to bear the cost for bus drivers too.
"In my heart of hearts, I don't think they (the students) should have to cover the whole department (meaning bus driver fees)," board member Jack Berry said.
Barb Bryan agree, saying that while she wished the fee for students was not necessary, it is a "sign of the times."
"This is a situation that many other schools are battling," Knapp added.
He said one school corporation in Indiana is charging its athletes $60 to ride the bus to and from games.