Book fees — unconstitutional?

This has always been a sore subject in the Jackson house: Book fees.

Some people, mostly Hoosiers who are used to paying them, don’t see anything wrong with them. A lot of people say it’s necessary–that we have to pay for our education somehow. Now, of course, we could raise taxes to help support our schools more, but people get all worked up over that. Why? Don’t we want to ensure our children are educated so our society doesn’t fall apart (more than it already has)?

But when the Supreme Court decided it was unconstitutional to charge a fee for Kindergarten in Indiana, that was OK? I’m confused.

The ruling stated you cannot charge for full- or half-day kindergarten in the Indiana public school setting. Well, charging a book fee or a supply fee sounds eerily similar. Why does a first-grader, who uses NO books, have to pay $125 in “book fees?”

I know, I know. The supporters out there say it’s really for pencils, papers, glue, markers, art supplies–you know, stuff the teachers don’t want to buy with money out of their own pockets. I don’t blame them. Teachers make NOTHING as it is. But I will say this: Hoosiers have screwed up something along the way somewhere. It shouldn’t cost money out of our pockets to attend school unless you’re going to a private school that YOU CHOSE to go to.

We love our school system we are in. We don’t have problems with the school. We have problems with the way the public schools are run in this state. And if you ask (almost) anyone who came to Indiana from another place–a “transplant” Hoosier like myself–you’ll hear that most of us think it’s ridiculous. Other states are paying for education through property taxes (that’s why it costs more to live in “nicer” parts of town where the schools are better), lottery, and other means. NOT by a check from mom and dad.

Here’s just one of many links to stories about the Kindergarten issue, in case you missed it:

http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/493633/schools_reminded_kindergarten_fees_illegal/

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