Shawnee Mission School District slashes fees for kindergarten and elementary students

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SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan. -- The Shawnee Mission School District is slashing fees for kindergarten and text books for the upcoming school year, which will help some local families save some money.

“We paid for the full-time kindergarten for the boys. And we pay our book fees each year for each kid. It’s a little over $100,” said Helen, who has two kids.

This year, some parents can keep their money.  Kindergarten is free and textbook fees for elementary schools in the district are eliminated.

“It’ll be great for my family’s pocket book but I think it’ll hurt the revenue for the schools,” said Helen.

The Shawnee Mission School District collected $1.8 million last year in kindergarten fees and another $900,000 for textbooks.

“Our operational budget is about $215 million. So when you look at it in the context of $215 million, it’s really not a lot of money,” said SMSD superintendent Jim Hinson.

Hinson says each student should be able to attend a full day of kindergarten regardless of economic status. It’s going to be a great help for some parents.

“Kind of worried about where we were going to get the money or if they were going to raise the price,” said parent Terry Robinson.

Robinson has a first grader and kindergartener this upcoming school year. He says it’s a huge relief.

That money saved is a win-win for everyone.

The changes take effect this August.

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