Schools push back on big fee increases for Minnesota high school sports
October 28, 2020
Already besieged with e-mails from parents unhappy with how fall sports have been disrupted, the Minnesota State High School League is also hearing from school leaders concerned with fee increases that they say hit disproportionately harder on the state's smallest schools.
The increases are the league's attempt to fill a multimillion-dollar funding gap created when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted it to forgo this year's state tournaments, its primary revenue source. As a result, the league has shifted the responsibility for its annual budget, which is projected to shrink from $9 million to $5 million this year, almost exclusively onto its 506 member schools.
The main feature of that shift is a new "COVID installment'' membership fee, which collectively seeks more than $3 million in revenue from schools grouped in four enrollment classes. The 64 largest schools would each pay $11,000 this school year, according to notices sent to schools, and the smallest ones $1,000.