Additional school fees cause problems for parents

Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

 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.