School officials in Three Village are considering signing the district up for PaySchools, an online payment system through which parents can make payments for school-related expenses such as field trips, prom tickets, theater tickets, child care programs and more.
Board of Education trustee Deanna Bavlnka, who said she brought the suggestion to the school district a year ago, said it has been "a long time coming."
"What I was finding with my own personal experience, and others, is you would write a check for a field trip or fundraiser and it would be three months until your check got cashed," Bavlnka said. "It’s annoying to the parent, but more importantly, it’s a cash flow problem for the district. Why are they sitting for one, two, three months?"
Currently, the district utilizes an online payment system – MyLunchMoney – only for its lunch card program. It charges a flat fee of $1.95 per transaction; if a parent needed to load money onto lunch cards for children in two different schools, two transactions would be necessary.
According to Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services, PaySchools would charge a percentage of the transaction rather than a flat fee. That would likely be passed on to the parents using the system, rather than be absorbed by the school district. The size of that percentage would have to be negotiated with the company that owns PaySchools.
"It looks good. I spoke with some of my counterparts in other districts about it, and people seem to like it," Carlson said. "I’m hoping that this becomes more convenient for everybody to use. I like it because we don’t have to worry about people wanting to pay cash and sometimes checks bounce."
Bavlnka said the school board appears to be in favor of the move, and said it is expected to come up for a vote in January.
"In the long run it will be beneficial to the cash flow. It’s something that needs to be implemented," she said. "It makes total sense."