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WILLIAMSVILLE EYES HIKING SUMMER SCHOOL FEES

The Williamsville Central School District is looking at raising the elementary summer school fee by $47 and middle and high school fees by $5.

Williamsville traditionally has provided summer school for district students at the $3 per student rate prescribed by the state Education Department, district officials said.

But Superintendent Francis M. Murphy's proposal would place elementary summer school under the district's community education program, allowing the three-week session fee to increase from $3 to $50 per pupil.

The middle and high school programs would remain intact under the district's summer school budget, but the fees would be increased to $8 from $3.

Last year, school officials revamped the district's elementary summer school program, making classes more fun and appealing. The classes attracted students who didn't need to attend summer school, as well as those who needed extra help. Elementary enrollment last summer boomed to more than 900, up from about 180 the year before.

Some board members have expressed concern over the proposal, saying pupils who need to attend summer school shouldn't have to absorb the $50 cost.

"If I had my way I would like to see us maintain responsibility for remedial programs," said School Board President Anne Rohrer. "I think we have an obligation to provide remediation and I don't think we should be charging $50."

District officials will take another look at options and decide whether it is worth switching the elementary program to community education, where it would not receive any state aid.

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