Today the California chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action suit against California for failing to protect the constitutional right to a free public education. Pacific Collegiate School has long been under fire for their $3,000 per student per year appeal (50% of which flows directly into cash reserves). In addition to the Annual Fund Drive appeal and collections process, all families are also expected to pay fees for core academic courses.
In a recent notice to parents, a reminder to pay fees was issued:
Due to family and teacher requests, we have created one form which includes all of the student fees. This form has been designed to make it easier for families to pay each of the classroom fees, yearbook, student planner and student identification all with one check. Please fill out a form for each student and indicate the grade level. The forms should be returned to the Office for processing.
Please note that all science classes have a $30.00 fee including AP Biology and Conceptual Physics which were mistakenly omitted on a previous form.
The fees range from a high of $35 for basic junior high English to $10 for AP classes (fees are also required for AP tests). The fees are for required courses. A small box may be checked for families who wish request a scholarship for relief from the fees.
In a press release, the ACLU seeks to restore the rights of all California public school students to a free education.
The suit contends that this discriminating practice against lower-income children will result in an unfair system where only the wealthy will be able to afford an education that is constitutionally supposed to be free to all regardless of economic status.
Pacific Collegiate school is required by law as are all charters to reflect the demographics of the surrounding community. The school does not currently enroll a measurable subgroup of socio-economically disadvantaged students. School leaders claim that the fees and donations expected of its member parents are not deterrents to students of poverty.