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Who needs tuition? This Cincinnati story on back-to-school price tags makes the case that the average public school parent, too, is shelling out more and more $$ for what once was considered basics. Are we balancing school budgets on the backs of parents (again)? Wheres the line between what sho...

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Back-to-School Budget

Posted by: Tim Sullivan on Jul 05, 2007 in Extracurricular Activities


Tim Sullivan
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Who needs tuition? This Cincinnati story on back-to-school price tags makes the case that the average public school parent, too, is shelling out more and more $$ for what once was considered basics. Are we balancing school budgets on the backs of parents (again)? Where's the line between what should be provided as a matter of course in a public school and what is rightfully considered an extra?
"The index projects that to fill the backpacks of their children this year, parents should have $351 available for elementary school pupils, $530 for middle schoolers and $894 for high school students. And those expenses don't recognize the cost of back-to-school clothing.

The expenditures range from standard supplies to fees for extracurricular activities to study materials and fees for standardized college entrance tests."

Ouch.

It certainly seems as if the line between what is considered a standard (covered) expense of providing a public education and what is considered an extra (and therefore fees can be charged) is moving rapidly? Where does it stop? As much as school is about learning and test scores, it's also about a broad education and finding passions and learning to be a well-rounded, well-adjusted adult. Hate to see a day when kids will have to pay a fee to play a role in the school musical or debate club or basketball team. Those "extras" are not extras in my eyes. They're essential parts of the school experience.

Where's the line these days in your school? And is there any way we can stop that line from sliding, sliding, sliding to the point where there is a toll booth at the doorway to each classroom
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