Did you know that each year our CPS budget just barely covers the salaries and benefits of our teachers and support staff? We could not operate without additional funding to cover books and science kits, sports and the arts, substitute teachers and paper for our printers – expenses that impact our entire student population.
In order to maintain the high quality of education we expect at Blaine, we rely on mandatory student fees to help cover additional critical areas of need not accounted for in the budget.
Of the fees generated this past year:
- 60% was spent on instructional material including extensive updates to our math and literacy curriculum, science kits, teacher development and online subscriptions
- 30% was spent on classroom and office supplies including new books for social studies, reading and math; supplies for science lessons; maintenance for office printers and copiers
- Additional fees were spent on services and extracurriculars such as fine arts programming, substitute teachers and sportsThis year, to cover many of these same needs as well as recess supervision, mandatory studentfees remain at $250 per student. Your tax-deductible payment is due no later than September 29th but you can pay by September 9th to take advantage of a $25 early-bird discount.
There are two ways to pay:
- Click HERE to pay online OR
- Submit your check (payable to James G. Blaine Elementary) to the main office along with the student fee form. Payment of fees will be a prerequisite for participation in most non-classroom programming. Parents will not be able to register their students in extracurricular activities, the after school program, and other non-academic programming if the mandatory fee requirement is not met. If you are unable to afford the student fee, would like to sponsor another family or are the parent of an incoming Kindergartener or 8th grader please see below for further details.
Thank you for ensuring Blaine’s continued success!
Your Local School Council
*Waivers/Payment Plans – All CPS families must complete a Family Income Information Form (FIIF) which will be distributed during the first week of school. If you are unable to afford the fee, completion of this form is the first step toward receiving a waiver. Under certain circumstances we are able to offer a payment plan. Please contact the main office to discuss possible options.
*Sponsorship – Consider sponsoring a family by paying even a portion of their fee. If you are interested, please either do so HERE under the “Miscellaneous payment amount” or by using the “Additional donation” section on the paper form.
*Exemptions – If you are a kindergarten parent contributing to the KFund, you will not be expected to pay this student fee for your kindergartener. New this year, fees paid for 8th grade students will cover the $70 graduation expense typically passed along to parents later in the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are payment plans available?
Under certain circumstances, we are able to offer payment plans. Please contact the Main Office to discuss possible options.
How are fees determined?
The Local School Council approved the budget and fee structure to ensure Blaine is able to continue to offer the level of programming that Blaine staff, students and parents have come to expect. Ongoing decisions about fundraising and expenditures are discussed at monthly LSC meetings.
Do other schools require fees?
Yes. In order to offset budget cuts, most of the schools in and around Chicago have instituted mandatory fees. Our fees are in line with what other schools require.
Are student fees tax deductible?
Yes. As part of CPS, Blaine is a taxexempt organization (#366005821) and therefore, tax deductible.
Can we donate more than the designated amount?
Absolutely. You additional donation can go toward a particular student’s fees (please specify) or will go to offset any reduced fees based on waivers.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the main office.
WE ARE BLAINE!