Student drivers at each of Hilliard City Schools’ three high schools will save $36 this school year after district leaders agreed to waive student parking fees.
Board members on Aug. 12 unanimously approved Superintendent John Marschhausen's recommendation that the parking fees be waived.
Board approval was required because the $36 parking fee is outlined in the student handbook and amendments to it require board approval, said district spokeswoman Stacie Raterman.
Marschhausen said the student handbook would be amended to reflect the parking fee no longer is required.
However, students still must register their vehicles and remain subject to rules and regulations, violations of which can result in the revocation of parking privileges, Marschhausen said.
Last year, student parking fees generated $27,000, and the revenue was directed to the district’s general fund, said treasurer Brian Wilson.
Last year, the district eliminated several academic fees, such as those for paper copying, and the parking fee was “overlooked” as another that should have been eliminated, Marschhausen said.
“We don’t charge for parking (at after-school events) ... and our taxpayers are otherwise funding our schools,” he said.
Students who drive private vehicles to school also reduce the number of buses and drivers the district would require to provide transportation, Marschhausen said.
Deputy Superintendent Mike McDonough said about 75% would be “a conservative estimate” for the number of juniors and seniors who drive to Bradley, Darby and Davidson high schools.
School board President Paul Lambert said he supported Marschhausen’s decision.
“It’s in keeping with the other fees we eliminated, (and) our taxpayers are already paying (toward the maintenance of our parking lots),” Lambert said.
Board member Mark Abate concurred the fee should have been eliminated last year with other fees.
“We should have eliminated this fee when we eliminated the others," board member Heather Keck said. "We work to improve our processes, and this is one that helps much of our student base."
Some neighboring districts still have parking fees.
Upper Arlington Schools spokeswoman Karen Truett said the district’s only high school has limited parking, and students must register for a parking space and pay a $75 fee.
“We encourage carpooling, so that fee is usually split between two or three students who share a parking pass,” Truett said.
Dublin City Schools charges a $60 annual parking fee, according to district spokesman Doug Baker.