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#121 of 140 Old 08-15-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've really learned a lot about the diverse experiences of families in public schools across America. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I really had a skewed view based on how things are here in PA.

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#122 of 140 Old 08-17-2010, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
During vacation?!? Woah. I guess we've dodged that bullet so far, though I suspect as we get up in grades it will get more involved.

So far our vacation homework has only been to keep a journal and reading log, equivalent to about half the days off. I find them excellent assignments -- straightforward and reasonable, and allows for a real vacation in there.
Ugh, I am a teacher at the high school level, and I make a point of having major essays, projects, etc turned in a few days before big breaks (a few days before so late work still comes in, and kids going early on trips still turn them in, simplifies my life). Then we do some little ongoing learning thread work or watch the movie of the book we finished or what have you. And then there's extra credit over the break, all very do-able even if the kid is spending break on a plane or car and in rural Mexico. There's always at least one option that only requires paper and a pen. I do sometimes let projects go over break if the timing just works that way, but I don't count the break as work time, it just interrupts us... if a kid wants to get caught up or ahead, great, but they can also totally dump it for a week or two. Breaks are sacred! In the same way, I tell the kids NOT to expect me to grade all the projects over MY break So it's fair for all
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#123 of 140 Old 08-18-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Ohio here. We pay for field trips, school lunches and a $36 supply fee per kid that is waived if your on the free lunch program. We also have to buy school supplies.

for my first grader:
pencils
fiskar scissors
4 4oz bottles of elmers glue
box of 24 crayons
paint shirt
2 family sized boxes of tissues
tennis shoes
plastic supply box
headset for pc
2 pocket folders
bic bright liners (5 color set)
1 box quart size ziploc bags
baby wipes
book bag

For my 3rd grader:
notebook paper
scissors
pencils
elmers glue
erasers
soft pencil bag
6 plastic folders-green,blue,red,yellow
2 boxes of tissues
2 spiral 1 subject notebooks
ruler
paint shirt
large glue stick
2 red pens
1 pkg dry erase markers
colored pencils
markers
headset for pc
1 pair safety googles
1 box ez-zip quart size ziploc bags
8oz hand soap
book bag

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#124 of 140 Old 08-22-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I haven't read through, so someone from AZ may have already chimed in.

We have severe budget problems.

We have to pay $50 to go towards keeping the Visual Arts Program. Our school supply list includes basic cleaning supplies as well as reams of paper.

Of course, if one cannot pay they are not penalized. The PTO will try to provide for families who cannot pay the art fee or buy supplies.

I also pay $118/month for ds to be there a full day. They cut to 1/2 day kinder this year and opened an afternoon program for us parents who work.
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#125 of 140 Old 08-22-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Also in my area Title 1 schools get extra federal funding and in many instances offer programs superior to those in upper income-earning neighborhoods.

As a result, a lot of families use the open enrollment system and send their kids to the Title 1 schools. Higher income earning families. My feelings on that are conflicted and I'm not sure why.
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#126 of 140 Old 08-22-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
Breaks are sacred! In the same way, I tell the kids NOT to expect me to grade all the projects over MY break So it's fair for all


This year my dd had "work" over every single break. Since she was in K, it wasn't "graded" but it seemed to be expected. When we took a vacation mid-winter, the teacher suggested that she keep a journal and then give a presentation to the class when she returned. DD refused to do it, and I didn't push it. This summer she was sent home with 100 pages (or more) of work that was to be completed over summer along with a work schedule for the parents to abide by -- math on Monday, writing on Tues., etc. This isn't make up work because she met or exceeded all grade level expectations.

I never answered the OP's question, but have been following the thread. Our elementary school has a limited amount of suggested supplies, but none that are required. There are some $'s asked for field trips, but are minimal and I have a high suspicion that this would be covered for children in need. I asked my dss, who is 17 and he said that in his school (same state and city, but different school district) he absolutely had to provide his basic supplies - binders, pencils, pens, paper, calculator, etc. I asked him what would happen if he didn't have a pencil. He said that he might be lucky and the teacher would loan him one for the class.

I'm not sure why, but even reading through this entire thread it just doesn't seem legal to require supplies beyond what the school can provide.

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#127 of 140 Old 08-22-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post

I also pay $118/month for ds to be there a full day. They cut to 1/2 day kinder this year and opened an afternoon program for us parents who work.
Hmmm...... I thought at one point that AZ was moving to full day K. Guess Janet didn't get her way, huh?

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#128 of 140 Old 08-23-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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Hmmm...... I thought at one point that AZ was moving to full day K. Guess Janet didn't get her way, huh?
They were at full day. And then major budget issues state wide. Some districts held on to full-day kinder, many lost it. Our school decided to go to 1/2 day and use the money to keep the music program.
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#129 of 140 Old 08-23-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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Hmmm...... I thought at one point that AZ was moving to full day K. Guess Janet didn't get her way, huh?
Janet is gone... Jan is the replacement....

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#130 of 140 Old 08-23-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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In our state, full day is not required (yet), so those choosing full day kindergarten pay some. I guess you could view it as child care costs, but around here the full day kindergartens spread out the curriculum through the day.

We got a *second* supply list from the school on Saturday. This one is because DD's in a different math program. School starts tomorrow, and DD has until Thursday to get those supplies in. Again, the cost isn't the huge issue for me. The issue is the lack of respect for my time. I already went out searching for supplies. Now I need to go again. My time this week is already spoken for.

All our supplies go into a general pool for each classroom. When DD's supply list requires a clipboard, it goes into a pile during "meet the teacher" night (tonight) and we don't get any of it home at the end of the year. Since clipboards, rulers, etc are not consumable or disposable, why are we buying new ones each year? It seems to me that these things are just part of the classroom? Either that, or they could send them home at the end of the year and I send it right back for the next year.
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#131 of 140 Old 08-24-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rabrog View Post
Full day K is absolutely not daycare. DD did full day K last year and was going from 8:15 to 2:45. They did library, music (once a week with the music teacher and every day in regular class), had reading time (both group for comprehension and on their own for learning to read), a short snack time in the morning, lunch, recess, art, math, social studies...they were doing something or learning the entire day.

Jenn
It sounds like you don't know what kids in daycare do all day... Kids in daycare do all those things. My kids daycare had art, dance, and music at least once a week. They had an academic goal each week which was age appropriate. So for the 4 and 5yos that was pre-reading and science type stuff. Kids in a good daycare are learning all day long.
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#132 of 140 Old 08-25-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Tennessee

$60 school fees (Kindergarten - most elementary schools in our district run +/- $10 or $15)
The usual supplies - crayons, glue sticks, scissors, whatever. Kleenex and Clorox wipes, but no hand sanitizer.

Buses are free. School lunch is $2.50 a day.

I gave them 1/2 for the fees, and said I'd pay $5 a month until the rest is paid off, even though there are some months that I let the electric bill or water bill slide so I can pay the other one off.

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#133 of 140 Old 09-17-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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I saw this today, and thought of this thread:

http://www.aclu.org/blog/human-right...-fees-students

I'm not trying to start any kind of political discussion. Just thought it was interesting and could be useful to anyone who wants to fight the fees. At least in California...

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#134 of 140 Old 09-17-2010, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Debi, that was a fascinating article. Thank you for posting it! I especially found this part interesting, as it answered some of our questions on this thread about whether public school was intended to be free and universal:
Quote:
Our nation’s public schools represent the highest and most revolutionary ideal of American democracy — that through education open to all on an equal basis, every child can achieve his or her full potential as a result of merit and hard work. The California Constitution, like the constitutions of every state in the Union, accordingly entitles the children of this state to a free and equal education.

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#135 of 140 Old 09-17-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
So, I guess now I'm curious-- what do you have to pay for to attend public school? And what if you can't pay it? And if anyone can clarify to me how public schools can charge when I thought all children in America were guaranteed a free education (although maybe I am misremembering that and it's not a guaranteed right?) I would really appreciate that as well.
We are in Baltimore. As far as I know, you do not have to pay to go to- DC's school - not a dime. It is a charter school and not a neighborhood school so there is no free bus provided, however there is a bus and the cost is based on whether the family pays full lunch, partial lunch or gets free lunch.

Breakfast is free to all students but parents have to apply for reduced or free lunch.

The school does ask for a donation for school supplies but makes it clear that this is an optional donation.

Students do have to provide uniforms (plain shirts and pants) and I don't know if there is any kind of assistance for that. Each child gets one free school shirt.

Field trips are not free (I wish we would use some of our fundraising money to change that) but I don't think any child is turned away because they can't pay. Though I am always a bit concerned that some families may not want to ask for assistance.

In other words, our school is pretty much free.

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#136 of 140 Old 09-17-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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We are "founding families" at a local public charter school. Part of our agreement with them is that we have to contribute at least $3000 / year prior to attending school and then an equal amount PLUS 200 hours of service (or more money) while in school AND they want everyone doing the fairly expensive school lunch. The founding families only represent about 15% of the school. Everyone else is there by lottery.
That's interesting, JudiAU. It almost seems to verge into some unethical territory, no? Essentially "paying" for a spot as a founding parent at a public school. DC was a student at a really nice CA charter school. I can almost see something like that happening there. As it is, it was a co-op so you get this leaning towards parents who have time to work at the school during the work week.

That kind of thing would not fly in Baltimore where any hint of buying your way into a better public school would get the school board's attention right away.

*ETA: Though I do know you can pay from another district to go to some Baltimore City Public Magnet Schools...so that basically contradicts what I just said. I don't know how the district reconciles those two distinct approaches.

*ETA Agani: JudiAU -- I TOTALLY didn't mean that you were unethical or even your school really...I was kind of just talking about the policy and probably more the greater school board.

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#137 of 140 Old 09-17-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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Field trips are not free (I wish we would use some of our fundraising money to change that) but I don't think any child is turned away because they can't pay. Though I am always a bit concerned that some families may not want to ask for assistance.
My kids' school is like this as well, if the family cannot afford to pay they would never turn a child away. They have a special fund that the teachers and parents donate to in the event a family just "cant".

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#138 of 140 Old 09-19-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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Here (Portland, OR) half-day kindy is free, but full day you have to pay. I think it's like 300/mo? My dd's not old enough yet, but I know it's coming. If your child goes to a school with a high enough percentage of free and reduced lunch families, then all of the kids get free all day kindy, even the higher SES ones, but if your child goes to a school with more high income kids, even if you're not, you have to pay. It really sucks because most schools don't actually offer half-day kindy, so if you don't want to pay for it, you just have to pick up in the middle of the day. So, if they do math in the morning and reading in the afternoon, for example, you have to choose which one you want.
I figure I can offer my dd LOTS of cool opportunities and extras with 300/month homeschooling. We're not required to enroll in school or declare as homeschoolers or do anything until the kids are 7 here, so we definitely plan to HS for kindergarten at least.
Long answer, huh.
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#139 of 140 Old 09-19-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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We are in Colorado. DD will start kindergarten next year and it will be 'tuition based'. Our local school will cost $150 a month. If we choose a charter school, it will be $200 a month. In addition, there is a substantial 'school supply list' required. The charter school also requires uniforms!


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#140 of 140 Old 09-19-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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I always thought kindergarten was free, but we decided to try it for ds2 this year & we're supposed to pay $60. If he were in the academic stream, it would be $70. We also had to pay for indoor shoes & a variety of supplies. I think the parent advisory council covers field trip fees, at least partially. Kindy is only half day & we walk, so we don't have the bus fees & lunchroom fees the full day kids have.`

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