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Newcastle Public Schools To Charge Students For Extracurricular Activities

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NEWCASTLE, Oklahoma -

At just 13 Tameka Talley already has big dreams of being in the WNBA. She's been playing basketball for four years and according to her mom Jill Talley, she's a natural. But while her mom thinks she has a good shot, other parents at Newcastle Public Schools say the district has dropped the ball.

Superintendent Tony O’Brien announced this week students will now have to pay a fee to take part in extracurricular activities. That includes music, agriculture education, robotics and yes athletics.

NPS says the money will go to the school general fund to help offset the approximate $300,000.00 cost of extra duty coaching/sponsorship stipends.

Administrators say, so far, no programming has been cut; something many parents think is worth it.

“I have no problem paying as long as it’s the sport they love,” said Jill Talley.

But what about the parents who can't afford it? O'Brien says students who qualify for free lunch won't have to pay any fee, while students on reduced lunch will pay no more than $75. Students who are not supported by free or reduced lunch will be expected to pay $100 for their first activity and $50 for each additional activity. Each subsequent activity is free.

Additionally, Newcastle schools will operate on a 4-day-a-week school schedule and increase the amount of money charged at sporting events.

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