Full spaces and empty wallets

By Ashley Bird | Features Editor

The empty parking lots of Marshfield begin to fill once more as a new school year begins, while, the pockets of students and parents empty. Supplies, clothes and student fees have already eaten away at family budgets, but that is not the end of their financial stress. Students who drive to school must also pay for a place to park.

There are 14 parking spots in Main, 62 in Pirate and 80 in Harding. However,  about only 35 spots in Harding are used. It is $75 to park in Main, $60 in Pirate and $40 in Harding.

Parking permits are far too expensive compared to other high schools in the area. Marshfield’s students pay the most for parking. Students attending Coquille only pay $10, and Reedsport, Myrtle Point and North Bend High Schools do not charge at all. However, if Reedsport and Myrtle Point students wish to have their own designated parking spot, they only have to pay $20.

When adding up the numbers, the amount of money paid for student parking per year is around $6,170. Where does that money go? According to Principal Greg Mulkey, the money goes into a fund called the Dean’s Fund, which helps to pay for a variety of things, including extracurricular programs, maintaining the parking lot and helping care for under privileged students at the school.

It is understandable that the school needs this money, but it should not come from the pockets of parents and students.  Tax dollars should pay for the maintenance of parking lots. Some parents may find it difficult to pay such a large amount for their child to park for the year. Therefore, Marshfield should lower the cost of parking permits to an amount that is more affordable.  Parking should be mandatory for the school to provide and it should not be considered a privilege.