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Friday, May 6, 2016

St. Mary's looks for solutions to costs crunch

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Will Script help pay school's bills?

Some Storm Lake St. Mary's parents and staff members put their heads together Sunday night at the Parish Center to come up with a solution to increasing costs for the school.

Increased insurance premiums and salary increases are the reason the school is looking at a 50 percent tuition increase, according to Dan Richardson of the St. Mary's School Board. The increase would mean that the price of high-school tuition will increase from $1,575 to $2,363. At a 50 percent increase, tuition for middle school and grade school would increase from $1,400 to $2,100 and $1,215 to $1,823, respectively.

At the meeting Sunday night, several possible solutions were suggested, from opening a day care center in the convent to creating a thrift store to benefit the school.

Greater use of the school script program was strongly suggested. Under the program, parents or others who want to contribute to the school purchase script which has a retail equivalent in real dollars.

The script is then used to make purchases. Retailers honor scrip discounts of up to 20 percent on purchases, the discount which is applied to tuition at the school. A minimum of 25 percent of that discounted amount applies directly to the school while up to 75 percent can be used to pay a particular student's tuition.

If a retailer offers a 20 percent discount, for example, there will be a $20 script credit for a $100 purchase. With a minimum of 25 percent of that amount, or $5, going directly to the school, the parent or other person can apply the remaining $15 of script credit to a student's tuition.

Local retailers offering the highest scrip discounts are Abner Bells Coffeehouse and Villager Restaurant at 20 percent each. The national retailer giving the deepest scrip discount is AT&T which gives a 20 percent scrip discount on its 60-minute and 100-minute long-distance calling cards.

For one example, Kay Broich said the Carroll Kuemper script program netted $84,000 in profit with just a third of Kuemper families participating.

Other suggestions made were detassling, breakfast fund-raisers, a stock investment club with principle and interest going to the school, a popcorn drop, the thrift store and daycare center ideas, bracelet sales, and food vending during the Thursday night Taste of Storm Lake and the Fourth of July and other major events.

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