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Girl Scouts Petition School Committee to end facility fee of $30/scout (MA)

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Girl Scouts and other youth groups had been using classrooms free, but the Lynnfield  school committee is now imposing a fee, $30 per youth annually, for the meetings.

“First-grade Daisy Troop 77647 has 21 members,” said Diane Courtney, the service unit coordinator for Lynnfield Girl Scouts, “So, the troop would owe Lynnfield Public Schools $630 before their first troop meeting of the year. That’s equal to the profits earned from them selling 700 boxes of cookies.”

“We leave the place better than we found it, so we don’t require any additional custodial services,” Courtney said at the meeting last month. “But in contrast, the use of school-space league sports requires much larger spaces that are in high demand and have more participants involved in the use of space for many more hours a week, including evenings and weekends. The need to accommodate spectators adds to the maintenance costs of fields and courts, requires additional custodial services, and impacts town traffic and parking lots.”

The request is currently under review by the School Committee. 

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

We leave the place better than we found it, so we don’t require any additional custodial services,” Courtney said at the meeting last month. 


On one hand, I do find it unfortunate that the school, in an attempt to be more equitable among those wishing to use the facilities gave a seemingly greater burden of cost to the Brownies and I hope something can be worked out.  However the one thing I do take issue with is the Brownies notion that  "we leave the place better than when we found it so we don't require any additional custodial services"  Unless they are cleaning the bathroom too, taking the garbage out to the dumpster, there would still be some degree of  custodial work required.  My wife's a teacher and whenever any extracurricular uses her classroom after hours, there's still a bit of extra clean up that needs to be done the next day, not to mention things like classroom supplies not put back where they were initially found

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Most schools and even COs have adopted a fee structure based on economics so the fee isn't the issue. What I agree with the Girl Scouts on is that the fee structure is odd. The districts I dealt with had a formula that computed fees on three elements: space requested, frequency, and profit/nonprofit status. There was also a fourth 'soft' element which was whether or not the entity involved offered something of use to the district's school children. So a classroom rental had a more minimal rental fee than the gymnasium or auditorium; if you met regularly once or twice a month vs. a one off event there was a frequency discount; and higher fees were charged for profit vs. nonprofit groups. If there was a conflict, student centered organizations were given priority. All organizations were subject to approval by the board of ed. A $30 fee per kid seems ridiculous. As cited above though no matter what condition they leave the room, the district still incurs expenses in allowing them access to the building that must be recouped. 


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