PDA

View Full Version : School Fees



Pages : 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9

cruisin
08-24-2010, 05:39 AM
Yes, and I listed several examples of things we had to pay for which we didn't benefit from. I did that because there is a perception that children with special needs are resource sucks, but people don't realize how many resources such children are systematically excluded from using, but whose families still have to support with tax dollars. Nobody seems to take issue with that though--perhaps because the beneficiaries are non-disabled students and it's just assumed they are entitled to such resources. But heaven forbid tax monies be used to provide resources for disabled students.

But as I said, that didn't apply in this situation because the teacher chose a transportation method that was wheelchair inaccessible and then expected us to pay for it. Why? Other options were available that would have allowed us to ride along, but she chose not to do that. So not only did she fail to make appropriate accommodations as she was legally required to do so my son could participate, she wanted him to pay for her not making those accommodations. I don't think so.

And btw, other families who drove their kids to the field trip instead of riding on the bus didn't pay either, but I guess disabled families should be stuck with a special tax for being disabled :rolleyes:.

I don't think that at all. But let's not get started on the fairness of "taxes".

kwanfan1818
08-24-2010, 05:55 AM
And btw, other families who drove their kids to the field trip instead of riding on the bus didn't pay either, but I guess disabled families should be stuck with a special tax for being disabled :rolleyes:.

WTF????????

agalisgv
08-24-2010, 05:58 AM
I don't think that at all. That seems exactly what you and Matry argued.
But let's not get started on the fairness of "taxes". I didn't contest paying taxes (and never have). This wasn't a matter of taxes though. Matry mistakenly characterized it as that, but as I pointed out, no tax dollars were at stake here.

This was a fee for service for which the service in question was by design excluding of disabled students. Asking disabled students to pay a fee in that case is simply wrong. If girls were prohibited from riding on a school bus to attend a field trip, but were required to pay for that bus for all the boys to ride, people wouldn't find that fair. If blacks were prohibited from riding on a school bus to attend a field trip, but were required to pay for that bus for white students to ride, people wouldn't find that acceptable either. Students with disabilities are a protected class and cannot be singled out for disparate treatment simply because some have negative perceptions of such students and think they need to be made to pay back in some way.

Anita18
08-24-2010, 06:09 AM
And btw, other families who drove their kids to the field trip instead of riding on the bus didn't pay either, but I guess disabled families should be stuck with a special tax for being disabled :rolleyes:.
I think that's the part that makes the situation unfair. :o

kwanfan1818
08-24-2010, 06:22 AM
I think that's the part that makes the situation unfair. :o
Even had this not happened, to exclude someone by design and ask them to pay for the others is ridiculous, IMO. If a women planning her wedding did something similar, she'd be called a Bridezilla and disparaged for her sense of entitlement.

Japanfan
08-24-2010, 09:04 AM
I don't think that at all. But let's not get started on the fairness of "taxes".

But if we get a thread on the fairness of taxes going we will have enough :watch:and :soapbox:to keep us going until skating resumes.

Anita18
08-24-2010, 09:47 AM
Even had this not happened, to exclude someone by design and ask them to pay for the others is ridiculous, IMO. If a women planning her wedding did something similar, she'd be called a Bridezilla and disparaged for her sense of entitlement.
When it comes to a situation where one individual would personally benefit from the extra money (like a wedding), then yes, excluding others by design is ridiculous. But when it's organizational and nobody directly benefits from the cost (like taxes :slinkaway ), exclusion by design doesn't nearly come off as bad unless you were personally singled out for punishment.

Since others who didn't take the bus didn't have to pay, then yes, that was beyond the pale. If everyone who went on the field trip had to pay the fee even though they didn't take the bus, I would have been okay with that.

PrincessLeppard
08-24-2010, 12:09 PM
Since others who didn't take the bus didn't have to pay, then yes, that was beyond the pale. If everyone who went on the field trip had to pay the fee even though they didn't take the bus, I would have been okay with that.

My school does not allow students to drive themselves or have parents/guardians drive them to field trips. You either go on the bus, or you don't go. I'm surprised other schools let the kids go on their own--it's an insurance issue.

Aceon6
08-24-2010, 01:11 PM
My school does not allow students to drive themselves or have parents/guardians drive them to field trips. You either go on the bus, or you don't go. I'm surprised other schools let the kids go on their own--it's an insurance issue.

Same in our district. Everyone goes via school arranged transport. The special needs kids go on the wheelchair equipped vans and any remaining seats are offered to other students. As our neighbor found, the van is better as it's door to door, so many of the parents of able bodied students will grab the seats if offered.

kwanfan1818
08-24-2010, 03:31 PM
When it comes to a situation where one individual would personally benefit from the extra money (like a wedding), then yes, excluding others by design is ridiculous. But when it's organizational and nobody directly benefits from the cost (like taxes :slinkaway ), exclusion by design doesn't nearly come off as bad unless you were personally singled out for punishment.

Since others who didn't take the bus didn't have to pay, then yes, that was beyond the pale. If everyone who went on the field trip had to pay the fee even though they didn't take the bus, I would have been okay with that.
The people who didn't take the bus -- and the father who didn't take the bus in cruisin's example -- chose not to take the bus. agalisgv's son was deliberately excluded from being with his classmates because the adults in charge picked a form of transportation that excluded him. He had already "paid" through the act of being excluded, plus the time to coordinate special transport, even if there was no specific out-of-pocket costs.

Every one of the families that were subsidized from something from which he was excluded benefited from his $$$ directly. This is not like taxes or even school fees where everything is pooled and then distributed in ways that people can argue are fair or unfair.

PDilemma
08-24-2010, 03:37 PM
I have never taught anywhere where any teachers were allowed to just demand money. Anything that would require kids to pay had to be approved through the board and administration. Usually, that would be a field trip that had entry fees. One school I worked at did not own a bus, so field trip fees would pay for that as well (not a public bus--they would charter a school bus for the day). As for teachers requesting enough to cover their entry and bus fare for a trip--do any of you pay for your own business trips? (My father worked at a place with stores located in separate towns and his company paid him mileage for driving between them. My current (related to education) job will pay mileage for school visits ).

My mother worked as the principal's executive assistant (we used to call it the secretary--but there was one of those working under her) for a public school for 22 years. Every policy and supply list, etc...crossed her desk. Teachers were not allowed to charge a supply fee there, either. In fact, that district supplied everything kids needed --pens, pencils, crayons, etc...--through grade 5. There were sometimes costs associated with field trips or special projects but if a family could not pay, they were asked to speak to the teacher or my mother and special funds set aside by the PTA would cover it.

At that school, PTA fundraisers every year covered a lot of the expenses that some of you are complaining about. Maybe if you don't like the way it is, you should get involved in making it better.

As for Christmas gifts, I never received any great gifts as a teacher. There was one family years ago at a private school that was very wealthy and gave all of their sons' teachers a sizable cash gift. But no one asked for it. I did receive stuff like baked goods, tiny bottles of lotion from Bath and Body Works, Hormel sausage (the parent was an executive at Hormel), Scwimmer's sausage (ditto at Scwimmers), and cards from kids and/or parents. For those of you saying you can't receive a gift from a client....well, education is not a business and it is a mistake for us ---whether we are talking about holidays or testing and "accountability" or how to run schools--to think of it as a business. A relationship has to exist between teachers and their students in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for education. And, in most of your businesses, I would assume that it is safe to say that you don't spend six hours a day in one room interacting with all of your clients as elementary teachers do with their students.

And about the kleenex--for reasons no one I know in education can explain, a lot of schools have stopped buying tissues at all. They go with the each student bring two boxes method instead. At the 6-12 school I just left, all the boxes went to the supply closet and that's where teachers got them for their classrooms. Even at two per student, we always ran out of kleenex before the year was over, and the only way to get them was for teachers to buy them ourselves. Some teenagers can use two boxes in four minutes. They use it as a reason to stand up. Then they stand by the box and use one kleenex after another and mess around with them for no discernible reason.

For my classroom I bought all of the following things:

My own pens, paper, notebooks, lesson plan book, attendance book, loose leaf paper for kids to write essay tests on, kleenex for myself and for the whole classroom by March, hand sanitizer, whiteboard markers and erasers, supplementary materials for myself, reference materials to help students with research (including frequently ordering specific books from Amazon for them when they were not available in our local library), books for a classroom library--one of fiction for silent reading for 10th through 12th graders and one of history related books for history class assignments, membership in professional organizations (only three of them totaled to well over $100 a year), some dvds and videos that I regularly used and the library would not buy, Netflix membership to get other documentaries and a few films related to courses that were not available from local sources, jump drives to back up my computer files as the server frequently crashed, food for speech kids at meets (including fresh fruit and veggies), various props, make-up and applicators, and, one year, royalties for drama productions. Additionally, I had to pay for high speed internet service at home which was not and had never been in my budget (I used free wi-fi at my friend/later sister in law's coffeehouse) because the school got a web-based gradebook system that its server could not accommodate and we could not log in to enter grades at school and were not allowed to enter them at a public wifi spot for security reasons--we were literally told to get high speed access at home which many teachers did not have.

woodstock
08-24-2010, 03:38 PM
I agree that asking a family to pay for the bus, when the child had other transportation (already funded) was unfair. And yes, there is some perceived "unfairness" in the allocations of school funds for equipment and such. Good points were made with the adaptive technology (that costs $$$) for children with physical disabilities. But alternately there are playgrounds and such that only physically able children can use. In that realm, I really feel things sort of even out in the end.

"
Originally Posted by agalisgv
And btw, other families who drove their kids to the field trip instead of riding on the bus didn't pay either, but I guess disabled families should be stuck with a special tax for being disabled ."

There certainly should not be a special tax for being disabled, but working in the SPED sector of school districts...I can tell you a many family who were dissapointed that Bobby or Jane didn't qualify as disabled (yes, more than one!). It was really disgusting actually, with their SSI papers in hand ready to be filled out for that government handout once their kid got diagnosed. And the upset that their child was tested (2-3 times over the years) and always found to be typically developing. Doctor hunting even, to try and get a diagnosis that didn't exist.

So no, there are no extra taxes levied on families with a child with a disability, but many qualify for SSI supports.Additional money that families with non-disabled children never get.

Now,for the families that have children with heavy medical/physical needs, I fully agree that they receive the SSI assistance. That money (one of my students gets $800 a month in SSI!) goes for large size diapers, medical copays, special formulas for tube feedings, bathing/seating/sleeping/wheelchair equipment. Wheelchair vans. Ramps and other home adaptations to accomodate a growing child using a wheelchair. Some even have to add/convert a bedroom to the lower level when their child gets too heavy to carry upstairs. So yes, SSI is warranted and helpful for those families. They incurr heavy extra family expenses in order to support and meet their childs needs due to the disability, above and beyond what a family with a typically developing child would need to pay toward care.

For the families that have special needs children who are not physically disabled, I personally have issue with the large SSI checks....unless the family is putting all the money towards therapies and additional tutoring (sadly,many I have met do not, ergo my negative views). They get cut an extra $500+ a month for their child with Aspergers/ADD/LD/MR et al. when said child requires no additional equipment or special physical adaptations. Essentially, unless the family pours all the money toward therapy services or has set up a trust for the child to be supported as an adult (highly unlikely as that would throw them out of medicaid qualifications in later years), it's just extra family "income". That I have an issue with, as those children (unless given therapies like crazy) really don't cost families any more to raise than a typically developing child. Now, when they're older and of income age (say 16 plus) then yes, bringing on SSI is fair, as they aren't earning incomes as typically developed young adults are. But before then, it just strikes me as an abuse of the system (all compounded by some families doing their best to get their child diagnosed, with the SSI papers already in hand to be sent in for extra monthly cash).

cruisin
08-24-2010, 03:46 PM
This was a fee for service for which the service in question was by design excluding of disabled students. Asking disabled students to pay a fee in that case is simply wrong. If girls were prohibited from riding on a school bus to attend a field trip, but were required to pay for that bus for all the boys to ride, people wouldn't find that fair. If blacks were prohibited from riding on a school bus to attend a field trip, but were required to pay for that bus for white students to ride, people wouldn't find that acceptable either. Students with disabilities are a protected class and cannot be singled out for disparate treatment simply because some have negative perceptions of such students and think they need to be made to pay back in some way.

First, we need to be clear about something. You said that other students didn't take the bus and did not pay. Now, was that because they did not go at all? Did they go and not pay for the bus? Were they told that it was okay to not ride on the bus and not pay? Or did they just refuse to pay? If they were told they did not have to pay to ride the bus, but your son was told he had to, that is a big problem. Then he is being singled out. but if the others were expected to pay, but refused, then you could have done the same thing.

{I want to remind you that my kid's schools did not do that. There were times when one or the other of my kids could not go to a field trip on the bus, and I did not have to pay. I also want to remind you that I resigned from a board over an issue where a child was put in the middle of a similar situation. So, I do not sanction any child being singled out or unfair policy.}

However, if the policy is that all children going on a field trip must pay for the bus, no exceptions. Then that is what it is. If they are paying for a bus that is not a school bus, they get a price and the price is divided among the number of students expected to go. If students choose to go, but not ride the bus, then the cost of the bus will not be covered at the divided rate. I understand that you have a child who should always be considered in a situation like that. Maybe you need to go to the school and explain to them (because clearly they don't get it) that your son is in a wheelchair (because they must be oblivious) and will never be able to go on a bus. that, in the future, would they please not average him in when determining a bus cost per student. Another possibility is to go to the PTA and see if they would offset his bus costs.

My earlier point is that there are many things which we contribute to with taxes, and fees that we do not personally partake of. But, if your child was singled out, and others were allowed not to pay, that is a different story.


But if we get a thread on the fairness of taxes going we will have enough :watch:and :soapbox:to keep us going until skating resumes.

:scream: Noooo, no more tax arguments! :lol:

cruisin
08-24-2010, 03:58 PM
Now, when they're older and of income age (say 16 plus) then yes, bringing on SSI is fair, as they aren't earning incomes as typically developed young adults are. But before then, it just strikes me as an abuse of the system (all compounded by some families doing their best to get their child diagnosed, with the SSI papers already in hand to be sent in for extra monthly cash).

I know a few kids with ADD, ADHD, Autistic spectrum, bipolar, and other disorders. $500 a month in medical/therapy for a child with any of the above psych disorders is nothing. The vast majority of psychiatrists and psychologists do not take insurance and charge $200 - $400 for a 45 minute session. Reimbursement for out of network mental health is paltry and limited to XX sessions in a year. The co-pay cost of many of the medications they take is also very high, it could be over a thousand a month if they do not have pharmacy coverage, and 2,3 hundred a month if they do. There may be families who do not get their children treated. But I would say that most parents who have a child with any of those disorders are paying far more than what they are subsidized.

woodstock
08-24-2010, 04:37 PM
That's why I said the ones who do pay for the therapies and such. But I'm in an area where there are folks who are using it as a money maker now. I have no issue with folks who get the SSI and put it towards the therapies and extra doctors fees, but many, many, many families I work with do not. They get the diagnosis for the cash, and do nothing for the child. Sadly, I've made several dyfs calls on behalf of the kids (for health/hygiene/care issues). Threatening to take the kid out of the house (and ergo the SSI check goes with them) seems to be what works.