(www.pikist.com)

(www.pikist.com)

Vancouver Island mom feels the pinch of school fees

‘Where does it stop?’ asks Lisa Hartt

It’s been over a decade since the B.C. Supreme Court outlawed “school fees” in the public system for course materials, trips, or textbooks required for children’s graduation.

But 15 years later, parents are still paying for fees, workbooks and other materials.

Over the years, Lisa Hartt has shelled out “hundred of dollars” for school supplies for her four children, but she still must buy additional materials from the school to pay for student agendas, field trips and other resources.

Now, Hartt is required to pay for her daughter’s Grade 9 science workbook at Edward Milne Community School in Sooke. It’s one fee too many for Hartt.

“(Parents) shouldn’t have to pay for this stuff so our kids can get an education,” she said. “The materials they need should be supplied by the school district or school.”

Under the School Act, a school district may charge fees for goods and services, including paper, writing tools, exercise books, and other school supplies and equipment intended for students’ personal use. Workbooks used to supplement the core course materials and are written in and kept by students are considered optional.

Every year the Sooke School District board establishes a fee schedule published and shared with families before the school year starts, said Lindsay Vogan, the district’s communication manager. Accommodations are made for families who can’t afford fees.

Hartt did complain to the school about the need to buy a workbook and was told it was necessary to complete the course.

“I was told by the school if I can’t afford it, they’ll provide photocopies. They’re telling you if you’re poor, we’ll pay for it. But that’s not the point,” she said.

Vogan said every school has a process for waiving fees for families in financial hardship.

“We always encourage families to come in and have a chat with their school. We absolutely want to make education as barrier-free as possible,” she said.

Hart decided not the pay for the workbook, but soon her daughter came to her almost in tears pleading for her to buy the workbook because other students in her class had one.

“I don’t think the school district should put parents in a position to pay for something that the school should never ask us to be paying,” she said.

Hart said the issue was never about paying the $12 for the workbook. It’s about the constant money grab from the schools for children to get an education.

“These little things turn into bigger things. Where does it stop?” she asked.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

ALSO READ: Victoria youth can ride the bus for free in 2021

ALSO READ: Canadians are spending less on back-to-school supplies amid pandemic



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

EducationEducation funding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: No public attendance or participation for Jan. 18 Parksville council meeting

Citizens can still offer feedback via email, telephone or written submissions

Town of Qualicum Beach council will charge the St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society for power and heat for the historic lodge. (PQB News file photo)
Society to pay electric bills for historic St. Andrews Lodge in Qualicum Beach

Group will not have access to building until lease is formally signed

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits Nanoose Bay property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury

The section of Highway 19A between Laburnum Road and Goodyear Road was closed to traffic due to a single vehicular accident. (DriveBC illustration)
Section of highway closed after vehicle hits pole near Qualicum Beach

Traffic disrupted for hours; two people taken to hospital

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read