Recall last year, Montgomery County Public Schools received a fair amount of heat when "some parents" noted that their families were charged for items considered to be part of the free public education provided by the Maryland Constitution.
In response, MCPS reviewed its policy.
Did they do a good job? Well, a quick review of the lists show a great deal of progress towards following the mandate of the state constitution. This year, MCPS released a 20 page document, instead of the 48 pages of fees issued in 2008.
But look at those fees.
MCPS 2009-2010 Curricular Fees - High School
The Blair towel fee is officially history. Thanks Mr. Williams! No foreign language workbooks!
Look closer. What is a dry cleaning fee? Yes, I know what dry cleaning involves, but since when do schools run a laundry service? Why the need for all those uniforms? My children wore their own clothes for middle and high school band performances - don't our kids have black pants, skirts, and shirts, and shoes?
My advice to parents across the county is this:
- 1. If a charge is not on the list, you do not have to pay.
- 2. If a charge is on the list, and you don't want to pay, ask for a waiver.
- 3. If you do pay a fee, consider it a donation.
Stay tuned for more posts on this topic.