Keep school fees and fines process simple
I read the article by Danielle Frost in the Tuesday, Jan. 31 edition with some interest. While not a resident of Washougal and not having children in any school district (retired) I believe that the board, superintendent, and business manager are over thinking the collection system.
First thing to make clear is that if the system of fees and fines is an established policy then the officials need not be concerned with justifying a collection process. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that funds are collected. Board member Rubino cannot use the excuse of not receiving a reminder letter to avoid paying up until forced to pay by needing transcripts.
Board member Dinius should not be worried about teachers being challenged to be part of the collection process. A teacher is either the originator of the fine or fee or should be part of the communication process i.e. sending notes home with the students. Besides $60,000 is a fair amount of money to provide extras to the curriculum.
Perhaps my greatest concern is with Business Manager Lassman’s statement regarding invoicing and collection. From my perspective of being a financial manager for over 40 years, the suggestion of a new department and staff position is ludicrous. Again, I have the same reaction with Superintendent Tarzian’s concerns of balancing values and costs. I appreciate cost control but basic financial controls can mitigate her concerns.
The $60,000 potential amount of the uncollected fees and fines is worth a simple project to solve. I believe that every district employee has a vested interest in ensuring that the system is properly managed. To this end they need to be part of the process. On the other hand this is not an amount of money that supports a sophisticated system.