Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Karem tackles fees

The Kentucky Board of Education is discussing technology funding, and member David Karem has just pounced on a reported Kenton County school system technology fee for students. How, he asks, can they add on fees for required parts of a free system of common schools?

As a Danville parent, I'm getting ready for textbook fees and supply fees, and I remember some years back a technology fee on top of that. The fees can be waived for students who qualify for free lunches and reduced for students who receive reduced lunch-prices, but I've accepted fees as a fact of life.

Still, Karem is right not to be so accepting. Our state constitution makes our legislature responsible for our common schools, and the Rose decision reminded us that, since education is a right, the state must provide it equally for all students. Widely varying fees undermine that equity, and ought to worry us all. Here's hoping today's question will be the start of an important conversation!

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