By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
KAPAA (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Hawaii Board of Education will vote on a proposal to increase fees for the state's After School Plus Program (A+) when it meets on Kauai Thursday night.
It currently costs $55 to enroll one child. A second child can be enrolled for $50. Families with three or more children in the A+ program pay $45 per child.
The B.O.E. is considering a proposal to hike the fee to $80 for one child, $75 for a second child, and $70 for each additional child beyond that.
"I'm not happy with that because it will create a hardship for me. I'm a single parent," said Maria Bautista, who has a child enrolled in A+ at Kapalama Elementary School.
"As far as financially, especially now, from 55 to 80, I think that's really a huge jump," said Wilson Aguinaldo, who also has a child at Kapalama.
"It'll mean that I have to find other ways to make money so that I can afford $25 extra a month," Bautista added.
Board members say they do not want to raise the fee, but tell Hawaii News Now it may be the only way to keep the program open.
"According to the superintendent's memo, which we received just yesterday, it says here that the department anticipates without the fee increase the program will become insolvent in January of 2011," said B.O.E. member Kim Coco Iwamoto.
The state spent more than $2 million to support A+ during the 2009-2010 school year. But, because of the poor economy, the state did not allocate the money for the 2010-2011 school year.
The board will make its decision during its 7 p.m. meeting at Kapaa High School.