Pay for Participation - FAQ's

Who will have to pay? Any family with a high school student participating in Band, Choir, Cheerleading, Drill Team, or Athletics.

Where will I pay? You will pay at your student’s school office during summer registration.

How much will I pay? Fees vary based on the activity in which your student participates. The maximum fee any one high school student would pay would be $100. The maximum fee a family would pay if they have multiple students participating in school activities would be $300.

What if I can’t afford to pay? Students who qualify for the free or reduced meal program will not have to pay the fee. Payment schedules can be arranged for families needing to pay in installments. All information is kept strictly confidential.

Where did this plan originate? Pay for participation has been in existence for many years. Most common in private schools, it has recently been added in many public school systems burdened with “Robin Hood” payments to the state. Highland Park ISD is entering its tenth year of pay for participation. Coppell ISD initiated its pay for participation plan two years ago and last year, Carroll ISD and Round Rock ISD implemented such fees. The fee is an alternative to cutting student programs and activities.

Why did this plan come about? Much of the district’s tax revenue comes from the airline industry. Since the unexpected events on September 11, 2001, there has been a continual decline of the value of airline property that has impacted the district’s budget. These unexpected losses of revenue coupled with soaring “Robin Hood” payments to Austin have forced the district to explore other options for creation of revenue to retain existing programs. Without new revenue, the alternative would be to cut programs that we know are good for students.

What if my child is injured and is unable to participate? If the injury occurs before participation, a refund will be given.

What if I move or my student is not selected for a team or an activity? If you move before your student participates or if your student does not make a team, you will be given a full refund. You will NOT receive a refund if your student quits after participating or is removed from a squad due to academic ineligibility or for disciplinary reasons.

Does my payment guarantee participation in games, contests or performances? No.

How will the money be used? The payment will be used to defray the costs of providing co-curricular or extracurricular student activities.

Will this fee replace fees currently being charged? No. If, for instance, you are paying an instrument rental fee for band, you can still expect to pay the rental fee in addition to the participation fee.

Do I have to come in person to make payments? Yes.

What if I am unable to come in and make the payment due to my work schedule? Please call the office at your student’s campus. They will work out the details with you but arrangements must be made before student registration ends in August.

Will this fee remain static or can I expect the fee to gradually increase in subsequent years? The fees could increase but the district’s goal is to not have fees at all. We are hopeful that the state will consider some tax relief measures in the near future.

Does this fee give me any privileges, such as free entry to games? Not at this time. The fee is to defray program expenses.

Do I have to pay a fee for each activity in which my student participates? Yes, but remember that no high school student will pay more than $100 and no family will pay more than $300. For example, if a high school student wants to participate in Cheerleading (which has a $75 fee) and Choir (which has a $50 fee), then that student could do both activities for $100.

If I have a child at more than one campus, do I have to write a check at each campus? At this time, yes.