A new instrument rental fee has been approved by the River Bend Board of Education.

Choir/band teacher Shawn Anton spoke to the board of education  Monday, requesting the creation of a $50 fee for students who use and take home school-owned instruments. Anton brought this idea to the board as a way to raise more money for band instrument repairs.

The school saw an increase in the number of students joining band during the past year. Anton said approximately 20 students used school-owned instruments last year and his expenses exceeded the funds in his account. Anton said the idea of a rental fee is something other districts have used.

Board member Nick Crosthwaite, as well as other members, expressed concerns about the fee. While he said he understood Anton’s point, Crosthwaite hesitated in creating another fee for parents to pay.

Anton said he always encourages students to rent their instruments from a music store where they can rent-to-own or purchase them. This fee would only be for those who wanted to use the district’s instruments instead.

The fee would be paid at the beginning of the school year. If a student quits band in the middle of the year, the fee will not be reimbursed. However, after discussion, Anton agreed if a student purchased their own instrument halfway through the school year, he would be willing to return half of the fee.

After hearing that students would have other options than being required to pay the fee, Crosthwaite said he felt better.