First Day of School – Students react to sharp rise in fees

Many students are shocked to find out about the new registration fees for classes. Today is the first day of classes in the 2012-13 school year, and some cannot afford the fees [listen to message, below] which in many cases are $30 or $40 per class and for CTE the fees are reportedly $130 and up.

Students at Evans in line to register for classes. (via J. Noguera)

Several questions remain unanswered:  How did the District arrive at the new fee structure being implemented?  How much money is the District projecting to collect from these fees?  How will these funds collected at the new service centers be used?  Also, what systems are in place to prevent future fee increases from continuing to spiral out of control?

We received the following voice mail message today from a student who can no longer afford to continue her studies. Click here or on the image below to listen:

A quick transcription is below in Spanish and translated to English:

“Allo, buenos dias, soy estudiante de Belmont. Me sorprende, esta manana, encontrar-me con la noticia que tengo que pagar, ya que no tengo trabajo ni nada, y ahora no puedo continuar mis estudios por que tengo que pagar $40.”

TRANSLATION:

“Hello, good morning, I’m a student at Belmont.  I was surprised this morning to find out that I have to pay, and since I don’t have a job anymore, now I won’t be able to continue my studies because I have to pay $40.”

The student goes on to say that the student body should have been informed in advance that they were going to have to pay this new fee.  It doesn’t take an expert economist to know that, particularly in this bad economy in which the majority of our Adult Education classes serve low-income students (many unemployed or under-employed), there is no question that the fee hikes will negatively impact enrollment –just as it has in other school districts who’ve implemented similar fee hikes.  What remains to be seen is how much this added financial burden to students will adversely affect enrollment.

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