What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Public schools pass costs onto parents

Amy Scott Aug 1, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Public schools pass costs onto parents

Amy Scott Aug 1, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Steve Chiotakis: The start of a new school year is mere days away. And as states grapple with tighter education budgets, some families are being asked to share more of the cost.

From the Marketplace Education Desk at WYPR in Baltimore, Amy Scott reports.


Amy Scott: In Keller, Texas, near Fort Worth, riding the bus to school used to be free. Starting this fall, public school students will have to pay $185 a semester.

James Guthrie: This is like banks continuing to add fees. You’re just going to chase the customers away eventually.

That’s James Guthrie, with the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. He says school districts feeling pressed for money are passing costs onto parents. Last year, a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of California over the practice. Staff attorney David Sapp says schools are charging for basics like books and supplies. Activities like band and football can cost more than $1,000.

David Sapp: This is essentially a tax, and it’s most painful and hardest on the members of our society that can least afford it.

Sapp says these fees are illegal in California. Bus fare to and from school is one of the few fees the state allows.

I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.