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Without school fees, education will suffer

Posted: December 16, 2010 8:59 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Although I have been fearful for a while, I am more worried about public education now than ever.

Recently, I read in The Signal that Gov.-elect Jerry Brown may have to cut education funding another 20-25 percent. And last week, I read that the ACLU has all but ensured that parents will no longer have to pay any fees for their children’s extracurricular activities or classroom costs.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones. My youngest son graduated from Hart High School this year, but I still am extremely concerned for California’s public school students. 

What is going to happen to all the extracurricular programs when schools aren’t allowed to ask parents to pay a fee for their child to participate? School sports, band, cheerleading, etc., are a huge part of high school. With rapidly diminishing state funds, how does one think schools will pay for them?

These programs are expensive, and it is extremely unrealistic to think that fundraisers can cover all the expenses.

Furthermore, what is going to happen to the higher-expense classes now offered?

When my son was at Hart, I gladly paid a class fee for his honors anatomy class that needed to raise money to pay for all the items the students would dissect that year.

Prior to taking that class, my son didn’t like science. However, because his anatomy teacher had the funds (the classroom fee I paid) and engaged her students, my son is now a biology major at a state university.

Yes, I am fortunate to have the means to pay extra for that class, but students who can’t afford that extra fee were still able to take the class and benefit.

Now what will happen to these types of classes that cost more than other classes?  My guess is that with more cuts to public education, and with the inability to charge parents for class fees and materials, these higher-expense classes will have to be eliminated or severely restricted. 


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