Students at Stonington High School are saying it’s steep to pay $100 to park at school, so one student is leading the charge to change the price tag.
Student government president Madison Geiger, a senior at Stonington High School and student representative for the school board, is talking with the Board of Education to fix the fee.
"A lot of it’s the principle of it. I don’t want to pay $100 to park at my school, where my parents pay their tax dollars for me to go here," Geiger said.
The $100 fee was initiated years ago, at a time the board of education had financial issues and was thinking of cutting freshman sports. It was a way to offset too many reductions, Superintendent Dr. Van Riley said.
There’s no line item for that money in the budget, Riley added.
The parking fees make up just .03 percent of the $38 million proposed school budget.
"You get your license, you’re hit with those costs, gas, insurance, your car and then the school tacks on another $100," Geiger said.
Riley said he’s in favor of a cost reduction. A staff member is retiring from a clerical position and the district will be able to fill the roll with a part-time employee since the middle schools are consolidating. The money saved would offset the parking fee, the superintendent said.
Geiger polled more than 300 students asking if they’re in favor of reducing the parking spot fees to $25, $5 or free. Sixty-one percent of students voted for the $25 cost.
"The money’s going to go back to kids who can’t afford field trips and who aren’t as fortunate as some of us in this school and with overwhelming support that is the option that was chosen," Geiger said.
The Board of Education is voting on the district’s 2018-2019 budget at their meeting Thursday night. Geiger’s proposal will be voted on then, too.
NBC Connecticut contacted schools in the area. East Lyme High School charges students a parking fee of $50, Ledyard High School charges students a parking fee of $25, while Groton, New London and North Stonington Schools have no cost for students to park.