textbook rental fees?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ghost, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    So I registered my sophomore today and his book rental fees were over $200! :eek: I only paid for the first semester because my 7th grader registers tomorrow. We don't qualify for reduced fees. I'm just wondering how the heck the state can get away with charging fees....doesn't sound like a "free appropriate public education" to me!:mad: I never paid rental fees in FL.
     
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  3. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    Never heard of it... sounds like they're trying to make a couple of extra dollars at your expense.

    If you google, INDIANA TEXTBOOK RENTAL FEES, there are tons of district webpages with them on there. I was surprised. I would contact your Dept of Public Instruction and ask about this... does not seem right. But then again, in looking at Indiana's DPI site, they have a FAQ section. SO, apparently there's something in their legislature "approving" it. I would still call DPI and ask what is up especially if this is a PUBLIC school.
     
  4. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    We were only charged if we didnt bring them back at the end of the year... wow... thats... kinda insane.
     
  5. SuzieQ

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    I had to buy my high school books but I attended a private school. I never heard of having to pay in a public school. I wouldn't be able to budget for my two kids. At my daughters school, they are given 2 sets of books. One stays at school and the other set (about 5 books) stays at home. At the end of the year both sets are collected and students are fined if they don't return them. If they don't, they don't get their report card.
     
  6. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Are you sure it was mandatory? At my kids school, they are always asking for money; they had this science guy come in and they wanted 35.00 dollars per student-and it was going to be for my son's entire grade and held outside-anyway on the bottom of the in-school field trip permission form it said (in little letters) something like non-payment will not deny your child from attending this extra-curricular activity but it may be canceled due to lack of funds.
    But, I just remembered that my daughter either had to pay and would get reimbursed or we had to sign something that we would pay 150.00 dollars if she lost the cd of her math textbook.
    Your situation just seems so unfair-textbooks should not be a luxury item for our kids.
     
  7. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    In NJ if the school requires a text they have to pay for it. I have never heard of renting books before. If the text is lost then the student must reimburse the school district.
     
  8. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Yep, welcome to Indiana - the only state in the union that charges textbook rental fees. Our district lets us make payments as long as the entire balance is paid off by March. But, there is no way around paying for the fees. In high school, if you don't pay your textbook rental fees by graduation, you don't graduate.
     
  9. Bonnie gr. 2

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    I have never heard of this before, either. I am also in NJ. If we have a class trip that requires payment, if a parent can't afford it, the child still can go. We can't require that they pay for anything. We can ask in certain cases but not require.
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Crazy to have to pay to go to public school. I wonder if it all evens out somewhere, maybe school taxes are less there or something else.
     
  11. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    I second INteacher....we weren't getting his schedule until I paid half. I have to have it paid in full by the end of Sept. It just gets my panties in a bunch, so to speak! :mad:

    At least the school supplies are mostly taken care of....I stocked up last year at clearance time on everything my son needed .
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Nope - our property taxes are pretty high. I think they have gotten away with charging because they have done it for so long and everyone just expects and excepts the process. Most people around here are amazed when they find out other states don't require a textbook rental fee.
     
  13. peridotylayne

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    The only time I ever had to pay for textbooks was in College. I think it's ludicrous that you have to pay for textbooks in public education. If they can't afford the school can't afford the books they should get a grant or teach without them. It's not fair to make someone pay out of pocket to send their child to public school... that's what private schools are for.
     
  14. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I had to buy my high school textbooks and I know that the high school in my Chicago suburb also requires students to buy their books. My friend has a freshman this year, and her daughter's books are going to be upwards of $200.00.
    I have to pay textbook fees for my elementary school daughter, but it is about $35.00 a year, and includes the cost of consumable workbooks.
     
  15. SouperTeach

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    :eek: I can't believe that they can charge you for textbooks! It definitely doesn't seem right that a public education must be paid for. That's what we pay taxes for!
     
  16. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Something tells me that if somebody ever filed a lawsuit it would loose in state courts but win in the federal courts. The OP is right. US citizens are supposed to be gauranteed a free public education. Those kinds of fees would more than likely be deemed illegal if it ever went before the federal courts.
     
  17. Yank7

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    Wow,That's a new one to me.How many children actually pay to rent their books and how many get it reduced or free due to reduced income.? I can see this in a private or religious school,but in a public school I think this is crazy.It would never work in NY.
     
  18. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    'K, who's paying for my lawyer? I had to scrape to pay for the kids' rentals. :lol:
     
  19. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Why not approach the ACLU? They might have a go at it.
     
  20. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    The problem is public schools are governed by state constiution and run by the state. Indiana's state constitution states public schools can not charge tution and techinally rental fees are not tution. So, parents continue to pay textbook fees, get taken to court in March and sued if the fees aren't paid and nothing really will probably ever change.
     
  21. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Again, Indiana has been sued so many times over this - state constituion provides free public edcuation tution free. Textbook rental fees are not part of the tution.
     
  22. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Michigan had students renting books but in 1970 there was a law suit and the Michigan Supreme Court said it was illegal for school districts to charge for books.
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    So what happens if a family can't afford to rent the books?
     
  24. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    In my district, they are taken to court and sued in March. I don't think my district keeps textbook from those parents that don't pay since in my 13 years teaching in Indiana, I have never been told to not give a student a book or to take a book from a student. What does happen is the parent is sued, a judgement is filed and wages are usually garnished. It really makes back to school time really difficult for many families
     
  25. MrL

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    That is absolutely ridiculous. I teach in a high poverty school, and can't imagine that policy. Some families I know would just move in the night.
     
  26. Sarge

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    So does the textbook rental fee guarantee that there are enough books for every student in every class?

    Can you opt out and buy your own books on ebay?
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Inteacher, I have two questions for you because you seem really well informed on this topic. I'm asking for information purposes, and I apologize in advance if my questions come across and anything other than honest questions. I claim math majoritis for my difficulties in communicating in writing sometimes.

    First, how exactly do they account for students who simply cannot afford the fees? Is there any way around it if they're below the poverty level or anything like that?

    Second, you said it's been taken to court, but has it ever gone to the federal courts? It seems like there would be a huge case for a discrimination lawsuit because, unfortunately, a disproportionate number of impovershed families are minority families. I would also think that the "fees" could be challenged as a back door tuition. I know the two cases are very different, but my state says that new taxes have to be approved by a public vote, and they tried to impose some "fees" a few years back and when the state was sued the courts decided that the "fees" really amounted to a "tax". The book fee issue seems to be similar in that respect, since if the families are being sued and liens placed against them and wages garneshed, the state isn't really offering a free public education.
     
  28. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Yes, and each content area gets new textbook every six years. This year every student in the state of Indiana will have a brand new literature, reading, grammar, foreign langauge (HS) book.

    I don't think it would matter if you bought books on ebay because you would still be charged. It is part of the enrollment process.

    Like I said before, parents that have been born and raised in Indiana don't bat an eye about the textbook rental fee. It hardly ever comes up in any state election or school board election. Whenever I brought up this topic when we moved to Indiana with the teachers I taught with, they were amazed that other states didn't require the same fees. It is outragous but the citizens of Indiana continue to allow it to happen.
     
  29. elizak83

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    I have never heard of this....
    I'm from Pennsylvania. I think my parents would've flipped out if I had to "rent" my textbooks in h.s.
    (They were shocked enough to find out how much my college books cost.)
     
  30. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    If students are classifed as free/reduced, this status also applies to textbook fees. These fees really hurt those parents just above the poverty level who are treading water economically, living paycheck to paycheck and hoping no one gets sick, the car breaks down or the heater goes out. I HATE this system and I guess what bugs me the most is no one seems to challenge it at all.

    I don't know all the ends and outs of the legal matters but I think all the court cases have hinged on the Indiana constiution - and I am paraphasing here but it states Indiana must provide uniform schools without charge. No where in our constitution does it say we have a right to a FREE education. I don't know if anyone has ever challenged this beyond a state level and I am not sure it can be since education is governed by individual states. But I am not a lawer so I don't really know.

    As you can tell, this is a very sore subject with me. I hate it, think it is wrong on so many levels, and I hate the fact that no one in this state works to correct this.
     
  31. kyblue07

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    We have to pay $40 before my daughter can get her high school schedule. They say it is a book/locker rental fee.

    I can't imagine some of my last year's 8th graders going into this high school having to pay this fee either. I had parents last year that couldn't afford pencils for their kids.
     
  32. SciTeacherNY

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    Wow! I have never heard of this before . . . a rental fee for textbooks? I am thinking most other states probably just use their budgets to cover any textbook fees. Like instead of paying $40 out of pocket in the beginning of the year, you just get taxed an additional $40 (if that makes sense).
     
  33. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Inteacher...I think it could be challenged on the federal level since the schools do get federal funds. The feds could tie funding to the very few (outside of NCLB) federal laws that are in place to ensure that public education is made available to everybody. It would be interesting to see what would happen if anybody ever tried that.
     
  34. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Just to give ya'll an idea of the amount of fees we are talking about, here's the current list of fees for my district

    kinder - $85.00
    1st - 102.85
    2nd - 89.50
    3rd - 96.35
    4th - 105.30
    5th - 90.35
    6 - 110.50
    7th - these are a range $105 - 120
    8th same

    high school has a very wide range because of the variety of classes. For my daughter who just graduated, we paid a high of 195.00 and a low of 156.72. So we aren't talking small amounts of money. And this is in addition to regular school supply lists that have included in the past, reams of paper, dry erase markers and paper towels.

    mmswm I really wish someone would take up this cause. I really don't understand why some agency hasn't tried already.
     
  35. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    If I lived there, I would, inteacher, but I don't think a teacher from florida would have much clout...

    This is probably the most rediculous thing I've ever heard of. Ruining people's lives over their kids education, one that's supposed to be tuition free. I think somebody could challenge these fees as a form of tuition. I wish I could...I've been itching for a good fight recently.
     
  36. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    mmswm my DD is leaving for college this month and you are more than welcome to her room ;) and we ALWAYS need excellent math teachers. Come fight the good fight for Indiana
     
  37. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    lol INteacher...with the cost of living in my part of the world, that's sounding appealing...I just read an article that put's Miami as the 3rd most expensive city to live in (in the US), behind only NY and LA.
     
  38. alilisa

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    Holy Cow! I can't believe they can charge. They only time we can is if a student lost or damaged the book beyond use. Even then collecting the fee is a challenge. We can't charge hardly anything because of a free public education!
     
  39. GD2BQN

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    We have these in Kansas , too. Imagine coming from a "No textbook fees" in Texas to fees up the wazoo in Kansas. You can apply for no fees and if you qualify you might be exempt.
     
  40. Ghost

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    Okay, back from registering my daughter....$109 textbook rental plus $16 for mandatory gym uniform. We don't know how much her locker fees are yet. So between my two kids, I got stuck with almost $400 textbook fees! :eek: Good think I had summer camp to help pay for it. My husband and I both work, but this is very difficult for us and I can't imagine how some of these parents do it.

    I absolutely agree it should be done away with....it was very, very briefly mentioned during the last election and as soon as folks were voted it, it was never heard about again.
     
  41. Beth561

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    I read that ,too. I was surprised-in fact, I've gotten gas cheaper down there then up here.And groceries were the same-$4.29 for a gallon of milk!:eek:hmy:

    Now...back to rentals...;)
     

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