The fee for After Care Enrichment Services at Guilford County Schools will increase $4 per week next school year.
Through ACES, kindergartners through fifth graders can remain at the school after the learning day has ended. Most elementary schools have the program. The children do homework and participate in other activities. Across the county, the program has about 4,000 kids and 200 staff people, according to school board member T. Dianne Bellamy Small.
The school board voted Thursday night, 6 to 3, to increase the fee from $46 to $50 per week.
Mary Mendes' daughter attend third grade at Frazier Elementary. It offers the ACES program.
“I’ve considered it mainly for, you know, socializing my daughter and, you know, getting her involved in things other than sitting in front of the TV and computer,” said Mendes.
But Mendes says she can't afford $46 or $50 extra every week.
“Most of us are just either, we’re single parents or working a full-time job and I would think somewhere in the neighborhood of keeping it at $40 would be a good price point for anybody,” Mendes told us.
School administrators say certain things are making ACES increasingly unsustainable including the rising cost of salaries and benefits for employees.
“What a parent wants is for a child to be safe and that there’s some nurturing and some learning in an afterschool program,” said Bellamy Small.
She proposed the motion to increase the fee to $50 and not as high as the suggested $52 per week. She says it’s a compromise for now to keep the 4 star state rated program and not outsource to a private company as was discussed at Thursday night's meeting.