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As we all know, the Newton Public Schools Department has increasingly looked towards the use of fees to help close budget gaps.

Fees aren’t perfect for lots of reasons (including the fact that they’re not tax deductible). But one argument in favor is that seniors, empty nesters and other property owners who don’t have kids in public school (but already pay high property taxes, much of which goes to schools), don’t have to incur added costs to fund school programs they don’t use.

But what about the use of  so-called “family caps” on school fees?

For example, the school bus fee this year is $310 per student, with a “family maximum” of $620.

Is it fair that a family with two children who ride the bus pays the same as a family with, say, five or more kids?