The chairwoman of the Calgary public school board says parents need to decide whether they want to pay higher fees or cut staff for the upcoming school year.

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) recommended an increase to school fees on Friday. In some cases, the proposed increases will add up to hundreds of dollars more out of parents' pockets but the CBE says there just isn't enough money coming from the province to meet student needs without choosing between fees or cuts.

"I know that there are many parents out there, they find it difficult to pay the fees," said Sheila Taylor, chairwoman of the board.

"I know of one parent who talks about September being more expensive to her family than Christmas, so I sympathize. We all sympathize with how difficult the school fees are. It's an area we try to minimize."

Taylor says parents now have two weeks to voice their concerns to trustees.

The trustees will debate the budget on Tuesday and then vote on it May 20.