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Thread: School Fees

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    School Fees

    Hi. I know there are a lot of teachers out here.............Can someone expound on why there is a $46 fee for my friend's just turned 13 year old son (whatever grade that is) for the school year. And why he has to provide two boxes of Kleenexes, which he could not possibly use all of at school. I do get the general concept of teachers having to spend their own money on stuff. I just thought someone could provide some details. She is complaining because she is already providing all of his day-to-day supplies. And knows there will be more fees coming after classes start. She does just like to complain anyway. And this is the third kid she's sent to school every year; the oldest just graduated from college. Thanks.

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    Some teachers make students pay a fee that will cover educational supplies for the year beyond daily supplies. I knew one teacher who really liked this magazine series for social studies, but didn't want to pay for it. So she made all the children pay for it (including her costs). I know some teachers budget in the costs for them to participate in field trips and charge that back to students.

    Your friend could always ask the teacher what the money is specifically for. If she doesn't have the money, there should be scholarships available.

    We protested some of the fees we were expected to pay as much of it was for food at school parties that my child couldn't eat because of dietary restrictions. Have to say, the teacher got quite nasty about it.

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    Why do you say he could not possibly use 2 boxes of Kleenex? I was really sick two weeks ago and went through 2 boxes in 2 days. It is extremely feasible that he would go through 2 boxes over the course of the school year. The other obvious answer is that he may not use all 2 boxes but someone else may use more than 2 boxes but it averages out and since there is no way to know exactly what each kid will use, everyone must bring the same.

    As for the fee, well it could be for anything. I would think the fee would be explained if she just asked. I think a lot of fees are crap myself and would prefer tuition just raised but I am assuming this kid goes to a public school? A lot of budgets are being cut in this economy, I would just think of the extra money as a way to assure my kid gets the best education. If it costs me an extra $200 a year, so be it, that isn't so much!
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    Did your friend's child not bring home a note asking for, explaining these fees?

    We use to have to pay somewhere between the amounts of $65.00 -$100.00, (depending on school and child, my kids spanned a number of years from oldest to youngest) some of which was refunded or carried over year to year. It broke down into caution fee, (potential damages) locker rental, activity fees (paying for things like day excursions in which the school board had cut funding) and book deposit.

    I also think we got the request (and I use that word lightly) for kleenex too. Some teachers ask for general classroom supplies that the school will not supply.

    The only time I ever said no was one teacher who told my son's class she wanted two packs of loose leaf paper and one pack of a specific pen from each student. There was never a letter sent home asking for this, as there always was for other fees, it was only communicated in class. I told my son to ask if this was for classroom use, to be shared amoung the other students. No, it was for the teacher's personal use throughout the year as the school didn't give her extra money for her expenses. I went to see her to explain I would contribute to the class, but not to her personal expenses, as we all have employment expenses we have to pay, not just teachers. She was quite put out and more than a little snippy. I had to watch that one closely all year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norlite View Post
    The only time I ever said no was one teacher who told my son's class she wanted two packs of loose leaf paper and one pack of a specific pen from each student. There was never a letter sent home asking for this, as there always was for other fees, it was only communicated in class. I told my son to ask if this was for classroom use, to be shared amoung the other students. No, it was for the teacher's personal use throughout the year as the school didn't give her extra money for her expenses. I went to see her to explain I would contribute to the class, but not to her personal expenses, as we all have employment expenses we have to pay, not just teachers. She was quite put out and more than a little snippy. I had to watch that one closely all year.
    We've had similar situations arise a lot.

    One time a teacher scheduled a field trip for the kids that was cost-free. They were riding the bus, and the children were young enough to ride for free and the field trip destination was donating all the snacks. So the teacher asked the children to bring in money from their piggy banks to pay for her bus fare and a lunch for herself.

    Another time my older son was told to pay $15 to cover the costs of renting a school bus for a field trip. But he couldn't ride the bus because he's in a wheelchair. Special services provided a van free of charge for him, but the teacher insisted he should have to pay as well. This actually happened rather frequently.

    Then another teacher requested kleenex--two boxes. But in addition, the children had to provide tissues for their own private use on top of that. The two boxes of tissues were to be for her exclusive use only. And she wanted a specific brand.

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    I don't understand - are teachers allowed to ask their individual classes for money? I thought any school fees would be through the school administration. It seems weird that teachers would have to fund-raise their own class in order to provide a field trip or basic school supplies for their own use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I don't understand - are teachers allowed to ask their individual classes for money? I thought any school fees would be through the school administration. It seems weird that teachers would have to fund-raise their own class in order to provide a field trip or basic school supplies for their own use.
    That is shocking...and pathetic. I am very old. We never had anything like that when I was in school. The only extras I remember was the occasional fee for a special field trip. Oh, and we had to bring our three cents every day for our milk. As a social worker working with adults, I would never accept anything from the clients in my group. It would be highly unethical and would get me fired as it would break agency policy. My agency doesn't supply all that I need for my group. I end up spending about $15.00-$25.00 on supplies for group every week or two. Even though social workers are very poorly paid, it goes with the territory. I supply my own kleenx and the kleenx that the clients use during the six hours that they are on site each day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I don't understand - are teachers allowed to ask their individual classes for money? I thought any school fees would be through the school administration.
    In my experience it's done on a class by class basis. Some teachers charge a lot while others not at all.
    It seems weird that teachers would have to fund-raise their own class in order to provide a field trip or basic school supplies for their own use.
    When I taught, we had no budget for field trips. So if I wanted a field trip, I had to raise the money for it. Instead of charging students, however, I found outside donors and raised the money that way. And we went on some pretty field trips if I do say so myself .

    Personally I would have been horrified to ask students to pay for my own teacher supplies. There are many out-of-pocket expenses, but to me that's part of the job.

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    It is getting out of hand. One local school district has toilet paper on their list. Another has hand sanitizer, tissues, and liquid soap. Pretty soon, the parents will be paying for Windex and floor wax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    It is getting out of hand. One local school district has toilet paper on their list. Another has hand sanitizer, tissues, and liquid soap. Pretty soon, the parents will be paying for Windex and floor wax.
    And the Christmas bribes, er, gifts for teachers are getting way out of control in some areas. $50.00 gift card per child for each teacher is the norm in the school system where my friend's children attend. LOL! I'd get fired if I accepted a stick of gum from a client.
    I know it is a very different profession, but...wow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    And the Christmas bribes, er, gifts for teachers are getting way out of control in some areas. $50.00 gift card per child for each teacher is the norm in the school system where my friend's children attend. LOL! I'd get fired if I accepted a stick of gum from a client.
    I know it is a very different profession, but...wow.
    Geez - I thought all the teachers would be on here writing about all the money THEY had to spend on their classroom! Instead I read more complaints about what teachers want.

    To the person who took exception to us not thinking he would use two boxes of Kleenex in the classroom in nine months because you had a cold - good grief! Maybe he will get a cold every month and stay in the classroom the whole time and use them all up.

    And someone said something about not raising tuition and appreciating how this $46 will go toward improving his education (paraphrasing here........) - uh, it's a public school. And a not very good one at that.

    Anyway, she really doesn't have any room to complain. She just got married to a guy with a good job and they have no money worries. When the kid was in 3rd grade, she did not have a job and went to a school fair where all the supplies were donated. That October, she was insulted when one of the teachers asked her if her kid needed a winter coat. Typical.

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    Maybe if so much wasn't spent on muti million dollar schools, parents wouldn't have to buy all this stuff. I just heard about a 500 mil school in Cali.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    Hi. I know there are a lot of teachers out here.............Can someone expound on why there is a $46 fee for my friend's just turned 13 year old son (whatever grade that is) for the school year.
    I believe that you are in a public school district near me, in which case the fees probably cover students materials like agendas and textbook fees (each student pays a small amount that goes into a fund to buy new textbooks when the ones being used wear out) and a similar computer use fee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    And why he has to provide two boxes of Kleenexes, which he could not possibly use all of at school.
    Teachers calculate how many boxes of tissues they will probably need during the school year, divide that by the number of students in homeroom (I'm assuming this is a middle school child) and ask each student to bring in that many boxes. Some teachers split it in two and ask for one box now and one later; if the teacher runs out, he or she will ask for more. Your friend's child will probably never use the tissues he brings in himself, but will almost certainly use tissues other children brought in when he is in other classrooms.

    Other fees can cover things like field trips (field trip fees include gas for the bus now), supplies for special projects, gym equipment use and things like that.

    I've had to supply reams of printer paper, liquid hand soap, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes (during a particularly bad flu season), reinforcement tabs for notebook paper, etc., etc. IME, art class is always the most expensive and requires the most specific and hard to find stuff.

    If you live in a relatively affluent school district, they tend to expect more in that line than they do in the poorer districts, simply because they are more likely to get it. I know teachers who live in my district but teach in some of the less affluent ones who laugh at the idea of asking parents to send in such things; they know that most of them can't and some of them who can won't. But here in "my child MUST have the BEST," parents will grumble but send in just about anything they are asked to, which means that the schools tend to feel free to ask.
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    My daughter's private school would ask for kleenex donations; more than happy to supply the good stuff rather than the cheap stuff that feels horrible on a sore nose. I'd rather be asked for specific items because where I shop I get rewarded vs. sending a cash donation for someone else to shop to get the rewards. My local grocer donates back to my daughter's tuition account 4% of my shopping there, needless to say I am very loyal as another local chain grocer reduced it's reward program to practically nothing. They lost my business big time and I let them know it!
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    When I was in school, we weren't allowed to give our teachers gifts: it was strictly forbidden by the Board of Ed. We brought our own small packs of Kleenex to school (or handkerchiefs), and it was a big deal when my 5th grade teacher asked us to bring in 3x5 file boxes. (I wanted a new one with decorations, but my father spray-painted the green one we had at home and put on decals with violets. I was not amused at the time.) We brought our own pencils and/or pens and notebooks and/or binders with loose leaf paper, and eventually, covers for reports. Everything except the file box (and the inevitable call for empty egg cartons, used popsickle sticks, etc.) was optional. That's how long ago it was.

    I think the most expensive things I or my parents spent money on in all of my years of public school were cupcakes/paper plates/plastic forks for elementary school birthdays, gym suits (one each for Jr. High and High School), three pairs of saddle shoes, and the $80, collected over two years, for our four-day 8th grade trip to DC. I don't think any other school trip was more than $5.

    I am at what it costs to send kids to public school.

    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Another time my older son was told to pay $15 to cover the costs of renting a school bus for a field trip. But he couldn't ride the bus because he's in a wheelchair. Special services provided a van free of charge for him, but the teacher insisted he should have to pay as well. This actually happened rather frequently.
    That sucks on several levels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickButtonFan View Post
    Maybe if so much wasn't spent on muti million dollar schools, parents wouldn't have to buy all this stuff. I just heard about a 500 mil school in Cali.
    I wouldn't assume that's over the top if it's in a large school district and is designed well, especially with the technology needs in schools now.

    I have never asked my students to bring anything--but I teach in a weird district, extremely poor kids, very wealthy kids, most kids at least upper middle income. I keep a supply of pens, paper, notebooks, folders, binders, whatever for the kids who can't afford that stuff.

    I supply my own Kleenex. Maybe I should ask for boxes....

    Hmmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I wouldn't assume that's over the top if it's in a large school district and is designed well, especially with the technology needs in schools now.
    I think DickButtonFan was referring to this school: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100822/..._mahal_schools

    Which might be an interesting topic for a PI discussion, but I doubt very much if it has much to do with the reasons the rest of us are being asked to send in stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I have never asked my students to bring anything--but I teach in a weird district, extremely poor kids, very wealthy kids, most kids at least upper middle income. I keep a supply of pens, paper, notebooks, folders, binders, whatever for the kids who can't afford that stuff.
    I noticed that requests for general classroom supplies like notebook paper and tissues went way down when my son went to high school; requests for exact stuff for academic use, like specific calculators and different tools for projects, has gone way up.

    It was cheaper before . But in high school, because most of the classes that demand a lot of supplies are quarterly, the cost tends to be spread out more over the year rather than hitting me all at once in August.
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    Our school division (and all the ones in Alberta) set 'instructional fees' that are charged to all students. Schools may add some fees, but need to outline what those fees are for to the parents. The instructional fees for junior high kids in our division is about $70, IIRC. This money goes into the school's budget to help pay for things like textbooks (one junior high science text is about $70), photocopying (paper, toner, etc), and the like. We charge for field trips on a trip-by-trip basis -- user-pay, I guess. Sports teams also pay fees that go towards paying for their uniforms and transportation. Most elementary teachers ask students to bring a box of kleenex that go into the class communal stock. For some reason, junior high lists don't include that so I end up buying about 3 packs of 6 or 8 boxes a year. Toilet paper just doesn't cut it for sore noses, even for junior high kids...

    As for what I spend, I buy my own writing utensils, bulletin board display materials, posters, wall maps, stencils, games...I probably spend a couple hundred dollars every fall.

    As for gifts, I have no idea where the idea started that gifts for teachers were mandatory. To be honest, I'd just as soon parents donated any money they would spend on me to a worth charity. I have many lovely coffee mugs and scented candles, and as much as your kind thoughts are appreciated (I find the idea of the "Christmas bribe" to be rather offensive and would not think of gifts in those terms, if you don't mind), I really don't need any more.

    It's obvious there are some cases that are rather outrageous, but please don't believe that ALL teachers/schools are like that!

    (I can't believe I'm defending my profession again...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I think DickButtonFan was referring to this school: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100822/..._mahal_schools
    I want to teach there. That looks awesome.

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    This will tell you how old I am - have four kid and don't remember ever paying any school fees. There where some school supplies bought but only because the kids wanted something different then what the school supplied.

    What happens to the parent that just refuses to pay fees or buy products?

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