Thursday, August 13, 2009

Checks for "Public" Charter Schools

We just had to write a check for more than $700 to Lusher Charter School in order to cover Kalypso's "fees" for her first year of high school. These include test taking fees for advances classes, fees for being in an arts program at a school that is allegedly focussed on the arts, and various other expenses. This is of course on top of having to buy hundreds of dollars worth of supplies for the classroom, and having to write a check for Gilgamesh's "fees" as well. While we thankfully can afford these charges, many families can't, and I'm sad to see access to quality free public education slip away. Moreover, Lusher has a famous crawfish boil every spring, and I believe it is one of the largest fundraising events in the city. I wish Lusher was more transparent about how much money they raised and how they will spend the funds. But with the charter school model, salaries for administrators increase dramatically, while parents and teachers are asked to do considerably more work to keep the quality school running. Some parents such as ourselves fought pretty hard to get our kids into a quality "public" school like Lusher, and I've noticed with many Lusher parents a tendency to avoid complaining out of fear and other reasons. The feeling is that while our kids are there, we need to fully support the school. I need to do some research to find out if families at RSD schools need to write checks as well, and what happens if the parents are not able to provide the funds. Anyway, I sure wish K-12 education was a quality product entirely funded by taxes, but that is apparently crazy socialism talk.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as I have to pay $600 for a bus for my kid to get to Lusher I will NOT pay the fees. It is not required.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Michael Homan said...

Sure the bus situation is a big problem. They boast so much about city wide access, about how any kid in Orleans Parish can go to any school, but bus fees certainly fly in the face of their claim. And I haven't heard the fees are optional. They were not presented that way.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

Hi, Mike
Hannah is at SciHigh (NOCSMHS, in Lusher's back yard) this year - no fees at all, and all her supplies together cost $65 (and Dad let her get the fancy binders at that). Shelby graduated from there this past spring, and was offered nearly $250k in merit-based scholarships - is about to start art school in Boston. I don't think we'll miss Lusher much. :)

Terri Stoor

10:48 PM  
Blogger Leigh C. said...

We have a list of supplies a mile long that each parent must bring in and this is atop $100+ for their school fees.

Things could be worse. We could be in California:

http://queenofspainblog.com/2009/07/06/help-a-charter-school-out/

And I was out in the S.J. area for over a week 'til today. Would like to have seen ya and checked out your battle of Kadesh. 8-)

3:03 AM  
Blogger MMK and YMR said...

Canada, my friend, Canada.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We did not pay the curriculum fee last year and the only difference was that my child received a classroom copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird" instead of a copy to keep. My child said that several students received classroom copies so she didn't feel uncomfortable. We received a letter this summer that stated the fee is optional, but that wasn't mentioned on Schedule Day. We just skipped the fee line. I'm not sure how the high school fees work because the AP fees may not be optional and there could be lab fees, locker fees, etc. I remember paying $300-$500 at Ben Franklin each year, but it included dance tickets and yearbooks.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Was there any advance notice of how much you were going to need before you got there? At Ben Franklin we never knew until we were in line to pay.

12:09 PM  
Blogger a said...

Yes, the school situation around here is enough to make me want to repeatedly beat my head against a wall. $700 in fees for a public school sounds ridiculous. Of course, I'm now spending $800 a month to send my child to a moderately decent school because we couldn't get her into any of the charters. Sometimes, it's hard to justify living around here.

11:00 AM  

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