Schools refuse to pay MSHSL COVID fee

Garrett Short
Updated: April 28, 2021 07:24 AM
Created: April 27, 2021 10:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) - School districts are refusing to pay thousands of dollars to the MSHSL as part of a COVID fee.

The Minnesota State High School League implemented a new COVID fee this year that varies in price due to school size. Kingsland says they were told to pay $5,000 and Albert Lea $9,000. Neither school plans on paying.

"If the state high school league is struggling financially they should be doing things internally to try to right the ship as opposed to just have other school districts write a check and pay us extra money," Albert Lea Superintendent Dr. Mike Funk said.

Businesses, schools and organizations all lost money during the pandemic, and the MSHSL is no exception. But schools are claiming it's not their responsibility to bail the MSHSL out. Therefore they are saying the MSHSL can't force them to pay.

"It wasn't a membership fee, it was a COVID fee. We paid our membership. Under the bylaws, they can't kick us out," Kingsland Superintendent Jim Hecimovich said.

Schools don't know what the MSHSL will do to try and punish them if they choose to do so, but Kingsland and Albert Lea are both ready to take legal action if need be to ensure their students aren't affected.

"We don't want our kids hurt here. That's what would happen at the end of the day. We're not about hurting kids. We want to provide as many opportunities as we can, but we want to do it in a fiscally responsible manner," Dr. Funk said.

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