Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Breaking: BOE Attorney says Public School Classes are Free!

At today's Board of Education Policy Committee meeting, the Board of Education completely forgot that their own attorney has told them that any courses offered during the school year, for credit are available to all for FREE under the Maryland Constitution.


Instead, the BOE - Philip Kaufman, Rebecca Smondrowski, Patricia O'Neill and Eric Guerci - ignored the advice of their own attorney and told MCPS staff to continue charging students for classes given during the school year for credit.  

The BOE members listed above did not even make any changes to Policy JNA, even though their OWN WEBSITE SAYS THAT SCIENCE LAB FEES MAY NOT BE CHARGED.

Policy JNA

MCPS website

The MCPS website says that science lab fees may not be charged, but the Board of Education's Policy JNA says that lab fees may be charged. 

Confused? The Board of Education doesn't care. They will rip you off every chance they get. 

Tough luck parents and guardians. The rest of Maryland public schools offer free public school, but not here in Montgomery County.    


  1. They need to engage their attorney prior to opening their mouths.

  2. The people who write this blog need to get off their MCPS bashing. There's no investigation, there's no compulsion to be objective here, it's a sham.

    I have no love for MCPS, but MCPS is NOT the only school district which needs parents to provide money for fees. PLENTY of other districts do this, but you don't see a comparison you just see the writers of this blog bash MCPS for doing something they don't agree with.

    Without fees some things just can't be done, moreover the fees are for things that teachers can't be reasonably accountable for. You want teachers buying 150 flash drives for their kids and distributing them? You want teachers storing and distributing art supplies? Lab materials buy and large ARE bought by the schools so I'm not sure what the gripe is there, but again there's in "investigation", just a rolling complaint.

    The Parent's Coalition is a complaint group, clearly, and it one that reflects a person bias, not one that's trying to do a level job of providing the facts and arriving at recommendations for solutions.

    1. Thanks MCPS for being up at 4:14 AM to write another rambling, meaningless comment.

      As you know, the Parents' Coalition has in fact investigated the issue of illegal curricular fees for years. The Parents' Coalition exposed the massive list of curricular fees back in 2008, the issue was widely covered in the press including a week long investigative report by WTOP's Kate Ryan, and when that happened MCPS was forced to eliminate the vast majority of fees.

      In the November 17, 2015, BOE Committee meeting the investigation by the Parents' Coalition was used as the basis for the BOE action. Guess you missed that?


      In addition, we took our advocacy to the Maryland State Board of Education, and that was also mentioned in yesterday's MCPS Board of Education meeting.

      Seems there is a lot for your to catch up on. Start by reading our dozens and dozens of investigative pieces on this issue over the last 7 years.


      Now, let's look at your rant. Lots of really wrong statements. Here are two problems with your ramblings.

      1. MCPS is the ONLY public school system in Maryland to charge these illegal fees. The MD State Board of Education confirmed that years ago. MCPS is the only Maryland public school system that rips off public school children like this. You want to talk about bashing? Why do MCPS teachers and administrators deny public school children their right to a free public education? These fees are used for blatant discrimination by denying all children access to free public education.

      2. Oh, on this one you really step in it. School supplies are available for ALL students via the MCPS Operating Budget. Teachers never have to buy 150 flash drives, unless they want to. Teachers are part of a union that advocates for full funding for the MCPS Operating Budget year after year. The money is there to buy school supplies. The illegal fees that are being charged are when a principal decides they want some spare cash for their slush fund. That has already been clearly documented. Here's how we know.


      That's right. The collection of these illegal fees is NOT FOUND ANYWHERE in the MCPS Operating Budget. There is no line item that shows the amount of illegal curricular fees collected or spent.

      Now, why is that? If the fees are legal and part of the budget process, why don't they show up anywhere?


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