Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Although the school has yet to provide a budget or other cost basis for its imposition of its $35 surcharge for its seniors to attend graduation at DAR Constitution Hall on June 4, today Principal Intern Myriam Rogers announced that the school would not be asking its students to pay the $500 honorarium for its commencement speaker, Dr. Leonard Haynes III, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The refund calculates to $0.83 cents per student, but the school graciously decided to round to the nearest dollar, and will now only assess $34 for each attendee.
Another success on the graduation front - Blair HS alums have donated 24 used graduation gowns! This will allow 24 additional students to attend the ceremonies who could otherwise not afford the cost of attendance.
The ESOL coordinator made a pitch to parents for extra donations to permit all 59 ESOL students to attend the ceremonies.
The initial graduation fee sheet indicated that 100 students needed full or partial assistance to attend the ceremonies - does this mean that Blair has already covered their costs or that they are not going to DAR?
The bigger question is why a school like Blair needs to supplement public funds to hold a ceremony that isn't within the budget provided by taxpayer dollars.
Is this fee consistent with the Maryland Constitutional guarantee of a free public education?
One dollar down, $34 more to go before Blair HS students get their constitutional rights restored.