Sunday, August 13, 2006

Fees commisery loves company

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Daily Herald. We say don't pay those fees see article on our CRAFT front page. .

How do we resolve this problem? Get involved. Go to the school board meetings with your friends and neighbors and tell the board to stop charging fees. You and your friends and neighbors need to write the school board and letters to the editor and tell them to stop charging fees. Do not re-elect the current board, stop voting for incumbents or run yourself. Stop re-electing legislators all across Illinois who pander to school boards, administrators, service unions and teachers' unions. In McHenry County both Jack Franks and Pam Althoff except union and teacher union dollars. Do not re-elect them. More often than not they support legislation that hurts children and taxpayers and both have proposed legislation that favors school employees and hurts taxpayers and students.

Fees commisery (sic) loves company

In response to Sandy Karmen Wisiniewski’s letter (Fence Post, Aug. 7), don’t feel too badly. I’ve been paying school fees for five children for eight years. We moved to Illinois nine years ago this September, and every year I still can not get over the fact that I have to pay to send my children to public schools. What are my taxes for? How are the school districts allowed to get away with this?

It’s only gotten worse as the years have gone by. Fees have steadily increased and now the K-8 district charges a late fee if we don’t have the fees in by a certain date. The high school district is no better.

The base fee is $127 with an added $10 “technology fee”; and the driver’s ed fee went up $100 from what I paid in the past, and is also included in the school fee at the beginning of the year. The high school also wants a signed statement that if books are lost, they will be paid for in full, along with a $10 “processing fee” for each lost book. If any fees are not paid by the time of graduation, the diploma will be withheld.

Then, of course, there are also lab and activity fees tacked on. The fee for my two high school students was over $800 this year. That’s one month’s grocery money for us. I had to use a payment plan.

I can honestly say we do not live an extravagant lifestyle. Until recently, we were only a one-car family and even the second car we recently purchased is 16 years old.

Do Illinoisans realize other states do not charge yearly registration fees for public schools? We moved from upstate New York and there were never any fees.

It also seems that no one can give a straight answer on what all this money from fees is actually going for. I have heard things like “it’s for testing,” and “it’s for books.” Again, then what are my taxes for? Thanks for allowing me to sound off.

Gina Rehberg


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