Monday, July 3, 2017

KIPP Houston and Its “Etc.” Fees | deutsch29

KIPP Houston and Its “Etc.” Fees | deutsch29:

KIPP Houston and Its “Etc.” Fees

On June 29, 2017, the Houston Chronicle carried a story entitled, “KIPP Schools Charged Unallowable Fees, State Agency Finds.”
KIPP stands for Knowledge is Power Program– ironic given that the primary point of the article is that some parents who even advocated for Texas’ KIPP charter schools discovered that they had been paying fees that were supposedly optional– without being fully informed that such fees were not mandatory.
An excerpt:
Mary Courtney was one of KIPP Houston’s biggest advocates, even as she had to borrow money from relatives to keep up with payments to the charter school.
She drove to Austin during School Choice Week, talking to lawmakers about why they should better fund charter schools. She volunteered on campus. She paid thousands in fees so her boys and other students could have access to books and science materials.
But that was before she realized the fees she was paying were optional, something never mentioned by teachers or principals or on the fee agreement forms that the schools – KIPP Liberation College Prep and KIPP PEACE Elementary – tied to student registration. Now, Courtney and several other KIPP Houston parents are furious because they believe they were duped by the charter nonprofit system into paying for what they believe should be a free public education. …
Eric Kot, chief of operations and information technology services with KIPP Houston, said some – but not all – of KIPP’s 28 local campuses incorrectly told parents that the fees were mandatory or failed to explain they were optional. But since then, KIPP’s Houston-area schools have created uniform forms across its campuses that show the fees are optional and have worked with the TEA to ensure they are complying with state rules regarding student fees.
“A handful of schools got it wrong… and contradicted what was in the (KIPP schools’) handbook, while other schools got it right and made sure parents knew it was voluntary,” Kot said.
The article continues by noting that KIPP has no intention of addressing reimbursing KIPP Houston and Its “Etc.” Fees | deutsch29:

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