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"Families continue to be impacted" | Belton ISD waiving technology fee, cancels debts from last year

The move will save families more than $240,000 over the next school year.
Credit: White, Crystal

BELTON, Texas — Belton ISD's Board of Trustees voted Monday to waive the technology fee all students must pay each school year because of the economic hardship families are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Families continue to be impacted by COVID-19 in different ways, and the economic hardships currently being felt by some in our community are heavy on our hearts and minds,” said Suzanne M. McDonald, Board president. “There are so many things to worry about. If this small but tangible action helps eliminate a worry for those facing hardships in our community, it’s worth doing.”

The move will save families more than $240,000 over the next school year.

The trustees also canceled more than $40,000 of debt that remained on the books from the 2019-2020 school year. The accumulated debt was from school meal charges, ID replacement fees and costs to replace or repair technology equipment, among other items as well.

“We want our students to be able to start the year with a clean slate and not have to worry about this outstanding debt,” said Jennifer Land, the district’s CFO.

Superintendent Matt Smith also updated the Board on the district's continued planning for the opening of schools on August 19.

"Since Thursday we’ve received more than 6,500 responses, which represents almost half of the district’s anticipated enrollment of 12,200 students,” Smith said. “We’re continuing to seek feedback from parents and staff through virtual events scheduled for later this week.”

The district said they plan to release a comprehensive response plan by Friday this week, July 24.

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