fbpx

I Thought Public School Was Free?

in School Expenses, Service Fees

Another historical post from the days when my daughters went to public schools. Public School was Free? Yes, but not really.

I was running low on ideas and asked my wife for a topic for today’s blog and she came up with the cost of our “free” education system. She had been out shopping for back to school supplies (a HUGE industry in itself) and was telling me about all the “bargains” she was going to have to find to pay for all of the unwritten educational expenses.

Not Optional

These are expenses you can’t escape from and you MUST pay:

  • $45.00 yearbook & agenda/year fee which is not optional (per child). My kids in High School can’t even get their schedule before they pay this fee.
  • $10.00 for the agenda at my elementary daughter’s school
  • Class fees for individual classes:
    • Art fee $25.00
    • Music Fee $25.00 not to do with the instrument rental
    • Musical instrument rental or purchase which can be anywhere from $100 to $800
    • Physics Fee $10
    • Tech Fee $30
    • Music Fee $35.00

Not that much I guess around $100 – 200.00 per child all due in September.

Optional Expenses

These are the added expenses that you can try to not pay or find ways around them, but some are more optional than others. An example would be I can’t really not buy bus passes for my daughters who go to a school a 20 minute drive away, but I will include them here for the sake of fairness in the model.

  • Yearbook fee of $15.00 for elementary/middle school
  • $200.00 since one of my daughters plays on the school basketball team
  • Food
    • Pizza $45/child/3 months
    • Juice $38/child/3 months
    • Pita Bread $40/child/3 months
  • Class photos $40
  • Team fees for athletics $20.00
  • Team fees for football $32.00
  • Team fees Curling $50.00
  • Tournament fees for basketball $115.00
  • Skiing $60.00 for club
  • End of year camp $187.50
  • Gym Fees $24.00 for self defense
  • Team fee softball $45
  • Monthly Bus Passes $58.00 per month Per Child
  • Band shirt $25.00

The bus passes are not cheap, a lot of the school athletics , and you can see these expenses can be anywhere from $100-$800.00 for a child over the year.

Now this does not really include things like:

  • Pencils, pencil cases, crayons and such
  • Paper, binders and the like
  • Computer, and computer paper
  • Clothing for the start of the year

Anybody else know why I don’t have any money in September? Just take a guess.

{ 8 comments }

  • Big Cajun Man August 25, 2007, 3:54 AM

    Sure, as long as you keep my related articles section and point back to the original posting, no problem.

    –c8j

    Reply
  • nancy (aka money coach) August 24, 2007, 10:26 PM
    • that was a great, super-practical post that a lot of canadians will resonate with.
      Would you be willing for me to post it as a guest post on my blog (nancyzimmerman.wordpress.com) next Thursday?
    Reply
  • Big Cajun Man August 23, 2007, 3:53 AM

    Good idea, the reason I can rhyme off most of the fees from last year is that we write cheques for each of them, and put a note on each as to what they were for, so none of those mentioned “fees” were made up, and in fact I think we have missed a couple of other items.

    –C8j

    Reply
  • Penny Pincher August 22, 2007, 2:46 PM

    My son is in 1st grade, and I am keeping track of these kinds of expenses all year on my blog dedicated to the topic…we are in the US, so there are some differences like thankfully no bus fees! Wow, those sound outrageous.

    http://freepubliceducation.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  • Big Cajun Man August 21, 2007, 11:21 AM

    A lot of these fees are functions of WHERE the school is, thus schools where there are mothers on welfare, may not have as much, however my guess is there are two possilibities:

    1) Their kids are out of luck
    2) They can go “hat in hand” and ask for a dispensation from these fees.

    Reply
  • Anonymous August 21, 2007, 11:17 AM

    I wonder if those non-optional fees would stand up to a court challenge.

    What do the single moms on welfare do about these fees?

    Reply
  • Big Cajun Man August 21, 2007, 5:20 AM

    Your mileage may vary, and you may be able to claim poverty, but a lot of these fees are mandatory.

    I bitch every year to my School Trustee about paying $170/month to transport my kids to school.

    –C8j

    Reply
  • FourPillars August 21, 2007, 4:47 AM

    Wow, thanks for the heads up.

    I’m a few years away from these costs but it’s good to know about them.

    $10 physics fee?? blah!

    Mike

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Become a Tangerine client today
%d bloggers like this: