Parking Passes: Should we really have to pay for them?

Have you ever wondered where your parking pass money goes? It couldn’t be for the spaces themselves. Why would Blake have to pay to use their own space? Seventy-five every year for space is a pretty reasonable price, but where is it going?

The money goes towards one of the most funded departments of the school: athletics. However, it is also possible that all their money is coming from the boosters, which are the parents that help fundraise for specific teams and sports. The athletics department has a lot of funds, so for parents to raise so much on their own would be a lot of fundraising they’d need to do.

According to the MCPS Parking Regulations, “All revenue collected from the parking fee will be used to support interscholastic athletics, or as determined by the Board.” But why does the athletic department receive the profit? 

Since Blake is an Arts and Humanities school, it would make more sense to direct the funds towards fixing the stage, upgrading the auditorium, or even renovating art rooms with new tables and dress forms.

Lots of confusion surrounds the school’s need to pay for spaces they already own. Parents are already paying for these spaces through taxes so shouldn’t the spaces be provided for free? Especially given the fact that it is public property. Blake’s Financial Specialist Dawn Jacobs says, “The fee is necessary to manage the spots available. Keep in mind that not all schools have the space to provide parking to their student population.” 

$75 may not be affordable for some families. Ms. Jacobs adds, “MCPS B.O.E…sets the parking fee.”  MCPS parking regulations state that each high school will provide spaces for a non-refundable price to regulate the number of spaces being used. The cost may be excess but it is mandatory by the Board.

Many of these rules are determined by the Board and not the school specifically, but that does not mean they cannot be changed if challenged. A stand should be made to acknowledge the clear fact that these funds should be going somewhere else, especially because it would benefit so many students. We should be allowed to have a say in where our money is going.