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Pay to play fees rise at Mount Si School sports face rising transport costs

Mount Si High School’s sports participation fee may jump from $75 to about $100 per sport to help the school cope with the rising costs of transporting athletes to contests, said Gary Hart, assistant principal.

Students got warning of a potential fee increase in “welcome back” letters mailed this summer, Hart said.

With fuel costs skyrocketing and driver wages on the rise, nearby districts are pushing up their fees.

Issaquah’s fee will jump from $75 to $85, Northshore’s will go from $75 to $145, and Mercer Island’s will more than double from $75 to $175, Hart told the school board at its July 10 regular meeting. For the first time, Seattle schools will charge for participation this year.

“At $100, we’ll fall in the middle of the league,” Hart said.

When the school first instituted the pay to play fee in 2005, coaches reported that it had no negative effects on participation, Hart said.

Last year, the $75 per sport fee was capped at two fees for individual athletes, and three fees for a family.

Need-based waivers are available.

Hart noted that in the last two years, the league has expanded the number of sports charging admission fees, but said those funds aren’t used to offset transportation costs. At Mount Si, the money goes to the Associated Student Body, which applies it to uniforms, equipment, play-off fees, and other sports-related expenses.

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