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Are The Days Of Paying For Textbooks, Honors Classes Coming?

Report Says It's Already Happening, But Not Yet In N.Y. & N.J.
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School textbooks

A newspaper is reporting there’s an alarming trend going on nationwide — students being forced to pay for textbooks and honors classes. (Photo: AP)

Christine Sloan thumbnail Christine Sloan
Emmy-award winning journalist Christine Sloan joined CBS 2 News in...
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NUTLEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s becoming a common trend in schools across the Tri-State Area — being forced to pay to play sports or be part of a club.

But could you soon be paying for textbooks or even honors classes?

Glen Ridge High School is among the growing number of schools in New Jersey charging a fee for extracurricular activities like sports and chorus.

“It can be unfair but with taxes and whatnot being so high I can see how they can be necessary at the same time,” senior Jerry Sammon told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

It’s not just New Jersey but states across the country charging fees and the Wall Street Journal has found an alarming national trend — parents being charged for bus rides, honors classes, and even textbooks.

Sloan asked parents how they would feel forking over money for those things.

“That, I may have a problem with. My daughter is in all honors classes. Why should I, she have to be penalized for being smart, honestly?” Robin Carrino said.

“That sounds crazy,” another parent added.

To make it clear, Sloan hasn’t found any New Jersey schools charging a fee for essential supplies like textbooks, but the Wall Street Journal says parents across the country are being charged for printer ink or materials used in biology classes.

“We go to public school and our taxes should pay for that,” one parent said.

As for activity fees in New Jersey, many districts had to institute those after Gov. Chris Christie’s administration cut off aid. The average fee is about $100.

In Glen Ridge students pay $300 for activities for the year or $550 for their entire family.

“Because if we didn’t charge activity fees we’d have to cut our athletic program,” Glen Ridge Schools Superintendent John Mucciolo said.

Schools like Nutley don’t charge extra for sports and clubs but are considering fees. Districts like Montclair and Glen Ridge have eliminated freshman sports. As state aid to towns continue to dwindle many parents wonder what else they’ll have to give up or pay up for.

The New York State Department of Education said schools don’t charge extra for sports and clubs. As for New Jersey, students in low-income families are excluded when it comes to fees.

Would you stand for it if paying for such items came to the Tri-State Area? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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