(www.pikist.com)

(www.pikist.com)

Sooke 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.

ALSO READ: Canadians are spending less on school supplies



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

Seattle Mariners field coordinator Carson Vitale before a game at T-Mobile Park during the 2020 season. Vitale, who grew up in Victoria, has pledged to run 10 miles a day for 2021 and to donate 50 cents per mile to the United Way of King County. (Ben Van Houten/Seattle Mariners)
Mariners coach running 10 miles a day for United Way

Saanich-raised Carson Vitale, Seattle Mariners field coordinator, plans to run 3,650 miles in 2021

Gordon English, construction manager of the Habitat for Humanity project in North Saanich, shows off the current interior of a townhouse part of the affordable housing project. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Families set to move in to affordable housing project in North Saanich by spring

Pending completion of Habitat for Humanity project comes against backdrop of new housing report

A rainbow graces the departure of CCGS John Cabot as it leaves Victoria Jan. 7. (Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Follow a coast guard ship’s trip from Victoria to Halifax, through Panama Canal

Canadian Coast Guard Ship John Cabot left for St. Johns on Jan. 7

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

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

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)
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 B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

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

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

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

Most Read