Paying The Price

Partrick Meaney

A photo of the Ipswich High parking lot
A photo of the Ipswich High parking lot

Across America, the cost of living for families has risen dramatically in the past decade. Housing, gas, food, and education have reached levels that seem to have outpaced even a normal, historic 3% average-yearly inflation rate. In Ipswich, the incidental costs for high school students has been no different. Ipswich students have to pay extra costs for most extra-curricular activities, including just parking a car each day in the school lot.

Students, primarily consisting of juniors and seniors, have to pay $50 each year for a parking pass. This may seem like a small amount of money, but it adds to the already high cost of attending Ipswich High School. Due to the town’s budget, the fee to play sports has increased to nearly $1000 per year, for four years this is almost $4000. On top of that, some students buy a lunch. While the lunch is relatively inexpensive at $2.75 per meal, it can add up to as much as $495 for one school year. That is a fairly hefty fee. These fees can be a problem for families in the community who are already struggling with living costs, outside of the incidental school fees.

For some students, however, this is a non-issue. During an interview with Ipswich High senior Aaron DiNapoli, he stated; “I just have my parents pay for most of these costs.” He also said, “Plus, I have a job. I would make that money back.” Also, in an interview with the IHS secretary ,Mrs. Nylen, she stated that, “The money from the parking passes goes toward a fund that collects money to help maintain the parking lot. From year to year, this averages around $5000-$6000.” The money from parking pass fee is used for parking lot maintenance, which includes snow removal and pothole repair. This was extremely helpful last winter, when massive snowstorms had blanketed the parking lot with nearly 3 feet of snow at a time.

The parking fee at Ipswich High School is a rarely discussed topic. However, it does have an effect in the long run. With the ever increasing cost of going to public school, $50 seems like an extensive cost to just park a car. On the other hand, it helps the high school maintain the parking lot, which is a very important part of the school. It might be the only affordable solution for Ipswich.