Educational Editorial: Changes in school fees - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

EDITORIAL

Educational Editorial: Changes in school fees

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Board of Education is now taking comments on changes in regulations related to school fees.  

The Constitution of Virginia states, "The General Assembly shall provide for a system of free public elementary and secondary schools…" But, " does free mean completely free?"

The answer has historically been no. School boards may apply fees; gym suits, lab equipment, driver education.

State regulations also prohibit schools from assessing a "general instructional fee" -- a kind of user tax that supplements the school budget.

In 1996 Chesterfield eliminated a "general fee" that generated about $1.2 million a year.

And what about those families that cannot or do not pay fees? Virginia law requires that provisions must be made for the indigent, just like free and reduced lunches.

As for those who simply do not pay, the rest of us subsidize them…you may not refuse to provide the program, withhold report cards, or in any other way penalize the student or family instructionally.

So the reality is that the 70 percent of the homes that have no school-age children and the parents who pay their fees pick up the tab for those who do not.

Perhaps the Board of Education should consider some basic values in reviewing its regulations:

  1. Don't approve a fee that cannot be enforced
  2. Give local school boards some flexibility to be creative in determining fees for services
  3. Consider carefully the value of something that you get for nothing! 

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Richmond police conducting death investigation after triple stabbing

    Richmond police conducting death investigation after triple stabbing

    Sunday, July 23 2017 8:38 AM EDT2017-07-23 12:38:42 GMT
           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...More >>
           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Still Very Hot Tomorrow, More Strong Storms Possible

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-07-23 02:36:05 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
  • Former Dinwiddie County sheriff passes away

    Former Dinwiddie County sheriff passes away

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:35 PM EDT2017-07-23 02:35:48 GMT
    Dusty Rhodes (Source: NBC12)Dusty Rhodes (Source: NBC12)

    According to a Dinwiddie official, Dusty Rhodes passed away at his home on Saturday.

    More >>

    According to a Dinwiddie official, Dusty Rhodes passed away at his home on Saturday.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Police: 8 dead in truck, 20 dire in immigrant smuggling case

    Police: 8 dead in truck, 20 dire in immigrant smuggling case

    Sunday, July 23 2017 5:50 AM EDT2017-07-23 09:50:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 10:21 AM EDT2017-07-23 14:21:26 GMT

    Eight people have been found dead in a tractor-trailer outside a Walmart in Texas in what police are calling a tragic human trafficking case.

    More >>

    Eight people have been found dead in a tractor-trailer outside a Walmart in Texas in what police are calling a tragic human trafficking case.

    More >>
  • After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist. As the law stands, because they refuse to leave, Keith Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist while owner Keith Mills was on vacation.. As the law stands, because the renters refuse to leave, Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>
  • NASA issues warning: You may have a bad pair of eclipse glasses

    NASA issues warning: You may have a bad pair of eclipse glasses

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:22 AM EDT2017-07-21 15:22:03 GMT
    The path of the total solar eciipse on August 21, 2017 crosses directly over Columbia and the Midlands. (Source: NASA)The path of the total solar eciipse on August 21, 2017 crosses directly over Columbia and the Midlands. (Source: NASA)

    As the world, the United States, and South Carolina prepared for arguably the coolest celestial event in decades, our old friends at NASA want you to know that pairs of unsafe solar eclipse glasses are being distributed. 

    More >>

    As the world, the United States, and South Carolina prepared for arguably the coolest celestial event in decades, our old friends at NASA want you to know that pairs of unsafe solar eclipse glasses are being distributed. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly