Friday: Very hot and humid with an afternoon high in the mid to upper 90s. A Heat Index above 100. Only a slight chance for an afternoon t-shower.
Friday Night: A fair ... More...
Parents Concerned About 'Student Fees'
by John Pless
As Hamilton County children get ready to start a new school year some parents say it's putting a squeeze on their household budgets.
Besides new clothes and shots parents are being asked to pay "school fees" for each child. There's a whole list of fees from ten to $75 per child depending on the school. Plus there are other fees that can really add up for families with several children.
At Ooltewah Middle School the fee for each student is $55 plus extra charges depending on whether the child is in band, athletics or certain classes. For parents like Kelly Kauffman, who has three children, that's a big bite out of the family budget.
"Again," Kauffman asked. "That's more fees, another year, more fees and how are we going to come up with them again, they just keep adding up."
If you consider the Hamilton County property taxes the Kauffman's pay -- about half of that going to public schools -- those extra student fees are the equivalent of a 27% percent hike in school taxes.
"I want to know where my property taxes are going if I keep having to pay all these extra fees every year," Kauffman said.
For families where both parents work to make ends meet, this is big money. Those fees are in addition to the list of supplies parents are expected to pay for each child.
Rebekah Housley, mother of two at Ooltewah Middle School, said "it really cuts back on other things like the food budget, you know gas is already really high."
So we asked the school's central office staff what the school fees pay for. Christie Jordan, Hamilton County Department of Education Director of Accounting & Budgeting, said "the fees allow the schools do things above and beyond what they would normally be able to do with the funds that they had."
Jordan said the fees are set by each school and go directly to the classroom. She points out that there hasn't been a school tax increase in years and with the cost of everything going up the school fees help make up for cuts in the budget.
But not all parents mind the fees. Nicole DiStasio just paid $250 for her two children's at Normal Park Elementary School.
"Not at all, I'm very happy with the education they receive at Normal Park and I feel we get a lot of return on the money just for the fees," DiStasio said.
Jordan points out the fees are not mandatory and no child will be denied their public education if parents can't pay the student fees.
Parents Concerned About 'Student Fees'
- TN/GA Regional News
- National News
- International News
- AG: No sanctions warranted in Ga. ethics case
- Shooting south of Atlanta leaves 1 dead, 1 wounded
- Pedestrian struck, killed by vehicle in Columbus
- Heat prompts changes in routines for police horses
- Fugitive squad to search for shooting suspect
- GA man gets life sentence in teen's shooting death
- American Ebola doc urges help fighting outbreak
- New leadership chosen for Ga. transportation board
- Search for man accused of shooting at Ga. officer
- Ga. woman shoots suspected burglar through door
- 3 blacks among 12 grand jurors in Ferguson case
- Ex-Va. governor says he should have revealed gifts
- Thousands to march against NYPD chokehold death
- Snowy owl that survived bus hit dies in Minnesota
- Life easing back to normal in NY Amish community
- County forgives $2.4M in bad speed-camera tickets
- 3 Japanese students killed in California car crash
- New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?
- Oregon gunman planned to kill 'bunch' of people
- UN warns its food aid program in NKorea at risk
- Morocco arrests suspected Islamic State members
- Mexico creates special economic-crime force
- 2 French girls probed as would-be jihadis
- Merkel slams Russia over Ukraine convoy
- 'Invisible caseload' of Ebola patients worries World Health Organization
- Canadian PM bans Chinese media from Arctic trip
- Amnesty: Mali holding children detainees as adults
- 4 white lion cubs born at German circus
- Yemen's Shiite-rebel group escalate standoff
- Pope's Iraq envoy: Minorities need to be defended
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
This N ThatLearn about the latest in community affairs and great events with Brian Smith on This 'N That.
Educator of the WeekNominate now for Educator Of The Week!
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!