(www.TheSingleMomClub.com) – Public schools across the country, struggling with cuts in state funding, rising personnel costs and lower tax revenues, are shifting costs to students and their parents by imposing or boosting fees for everything from enrolling in honors English to riding the bus.
At high schools in several states, it can cost more than $200 just to walk in the door, thanks to registration fees, technology fees and unspecified “instructional fees.”
Though public schools have long charged for extras such as driver’s education and field trips, many are now asking parents to pay for supplies needed to take core classes—from biology-lab safety goggles to algebra workbooks to the printer ink used to run off grammar exercises in language arts. Kindergarteners are paying about $70 each for community supplies like facial tissue, hand sanitizers and other related supplies. In some schools, each class comes with a price tag, to be paid at registration. Some schools offer installment plans for payment. Others accept credit cards—for a processing fee.
Public-school administrators say the fees—some of which are waived for low-income families—allow them to continue to offer specialty classes and activities that would otherwise fall to the budget ax. Some parents support that approach, saying they’d rather pay for honors physics or drama than see those opportunities eliminated altogether.
Households with children who qualify for free or reduced lunch also qualify for many other programs like a home phone for $5 per month, high speed Internet service at home from Comcast Internet Essentials for $9.95 and other programs.