Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wondering about those Dist. 128 fees - Don't pay your fees.

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Daily Herald.

Letters to the Editor
Wondering about those Dist. 128 fees
I’m curious to know if you Libertyville District 128 parents believe we shouldn’t be paying the yearly fees and extra charges the schools are charging us. This year, I wrote two checks for $160 for both of my high school kids totaling a whopping $320.

We were also charged for fees we did not pay during the school year. They included keyboarding ($100 per child), Spanish ($25 per child), and miscellaneous classes were an additional $30 charge.

Article 10 of the Illinois Constitution states that the public schools are free. The law states that public schools’ budgets are supposed to come from our taxes. So what happened here?

I don’t know about you, but I look at my tax bill, scratch my head and think, aren’t we paying enough in taxes? Since when does the school, which is part of the government, not have to obey laws? Where is that money that we’re sending in going anyway?

I’d be interested in your feedback. Please e-mail me at sandychuck@anet.com.

Sandy Kamen Wisniewski

Jim's don't pay fees Letter to the Editor.

August is here. According to the school districts it is time to pay those school fees, I say do not pay. The school districts are hoping you forget that you have already paid for your child's schooling with huge property taxes and they are also hoping you forget you have another huge property tax bill due in September.

School districts routinely punish voters who turn down their demands for more money by forcing them to pay fees. Some like Fox River Grove have the gall to charge you fees even though they passed referenda. To impose fees is not only disgraceful, but flatly unconstitutional.

Lets have a look at Article X of the Illinois Constitution (www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con10.htm). Pay attention, school
boards. Right there in black and white "Education in public schools through the secondary level shall be free." Not "free if you're poor", just plain, honest-to-goodness "free". What part of "free" do school boards not understand? Amazingly, school-wide registration fees at public schools are common.

Since our schools have no respect for the rule of law, perhaps its time for parents to drive the issue home. Across the state,
parents should simply refuse to pay any fees not used for their children's extracurricular activities. Tear up your checks in
front of them for dramatic effect. If questioned, simply indicate that you're complying with the terms of the Illinois Constitution. The ISBE has already made it clear that schools cannot punish parents who do not pay. (Ask District 36 Superintendent Charles Barber if you have any doubts)

A failed referendum means "Don't take any more of our money". It doesn't mean "Please find devious, unconstitutional ways to take the same money we denied you in the referendum and it does not mean cut programs either." This practice must stop.

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