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Minnesota high schools to see large activities fee increases

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State High School League is sending letters to school leaders outlining fee increases as much as 300% in order to make up for losses caused by the coronavirus.

The league is shifting the financial burden almost exclusively onto its member schools, many of which have their own budget challenges from the pandemic, the Star Tribune reported. Schools will pay a new “COVID installment” membership fee that varies by enrollment, with the biggest schools paying $11,000 for the school year and the smallest ones paying $1,000.

The league has shortened its sports seasons and budgeted for no state tournaments in the 2020-21 school year. Those tournaments have typically funded about 75% of the league’s annual budget, which is projected to shrink from $9 million to $5 million this year.

The new bill for Wayzata, which has one of the state’s largest enrollments at more than 3,000, is more than $21,000, up from about $5,400 last year.

The increase at St. Croix Lutheran, a West St. Paul parochial school with an enrollment of 500 students, will balloon 300% from $2,760 last school year to $11,082. School President Dr. Todd A. Russ called “a kick in the gut.”

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