Another school year has started and so has the outpouring
of money, say some parents of school-aged children.
At Roncalli Central High, the school administration has instated
a new $10 fee for each student to help pay for consumable items
such as paper. Parents are also frustrated by the fact that this
does not include all other separate course fees.
Cynthia Patey has two children enrolled at Roncalli Central
High School in Port Saunders, NF.
"I thought it was expensive enough just for supplies,
clothes, sneakers, lunch money, and extracurricular expenses,
and now they come up with more fees," says Patey. "I've
already paid out $45 in paper fees for one child alone."
"We at Roncalli, use a large amount of paper in our photocopier
and computers, as well as other items such as bristol board and
construction paper, " says Connie Powell, vice principal
of the school.
"Student insurance is also a necessary feature of our
school. A $10 fee, in my opinion, is reasonable. Every year we
seem to be faced with the burden of trying to find funds for
various things at the end of the year, such as awards. This fee
will go a long way towards helping us out here at the school."
These fees are not only posing a problem at the local high
school -- it's an issue at the local elementary school as well.
"I think that school should stay within budget, instead
of having to offset the cost of such things as pens, pencils,
and paper," says Don Tulk, a parent of three, who has already
spent $45 in fees. "I often find myself wondering where
the money is going."
The vice chairman of the school board, Don Brown, had this
response to the parents' concerns.
"I am not in total agreement with fees because of the
hardship it places on parents, especially those with more than
one child, " says Brown. "The school board will have
to look at ways to find sufficient funds for schools to have
the necessary supplies and other things needed to give students
the best educational experience possible."
It seems as though the matter may be resolved with the help
of the school board and parents minds can be put at ease.