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Public School is Expensive

October 2nd, 2013 at 03:14 pm

This week has been ridiculous with expenses coming out of the school. DD came home with an order form for cap and gown for graduation on Monday, saying something about an $80 deposit that had to be in the next day and that the total would be $226. I kind of went through the roof (not at her or anything), but $226 for a flimsy robe and cardboard hat? Umm, yeah, no.

Fortunately on further investigation, the $226 packet included a whole bunch of crap that had nothing whatsoever to do with what was required. Things like graduation t-shirt, graduation hoody, graduation key chain, 50 announcements with two sets of envelopes, tissues, name cards, and class ring. They were selling it as a package. Um, yeah, no.

In the very back of the order packet, was a different order sheet and on it, you could buy the actual necessities for graduation, which were the cap/gown/tassel/stole for $53.50. And you could order just 25 announcements with just one set of envelopes. No need for inner and outer envelopes, special inner and outer seals, tissues, return address labels, etc. 25 announcements and envelopes was $30. Still way too much, and we don't need 25 announcements, we only need 15, but that was the least I could go.

So a total of $83.50 plus $8.95 handling fee and 7.8% sales tax, ended up with us paying $99.66, although I'm not sure if it was actually legal for them to tax the handling fee. Still $99.66 beats $226 by a mile and we saved $126.34 just because I thoroughly read through the packet. I wonder how many parents don't? I charged it to the AMEX and will pay it off on payday.

School needs to give more than 1 day's notice though. And then yesterday DD comes home with a class t-shirt order form that was due, guess when, today. I have gotten her a class t-shirt every year of high school, so I managed to eek out the $14.50 for that, as well, from the $48 left in checking until Friday. I don't mind buying these things, I just want a week's notice so I can put it in the budget, you know?

I've also come to the conclusion that the ASB needs to change its name to BYD for bleed you dry as that is what they seem to try to do in the beginning of the school year.

8 Responses to “Public School is Expensive”

  1. Jenn Says:

    I had the same experience last year with graduation fees, and my reaction was the same. I got the gown, cap, tassel, and 15 invitations. Once the kids graduate, they do not want a bunch of stuff with 'class of ...' on it!

    The other trend here is that almost all high school classes have 'lab fees' of 10 or 20 bucks. I can understand for a photography or art class, but accounting? It's silly.

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    I'm just now on the public school treadmill. My oldest just started kindergarten, and we've been hit with a $40 math workbook fee, $15 mandatory field trip fee, $20 to join the PTO, AND.... they don't release the classroom school supply lists until the school's annual school supply sale fundraiser. So you have to go to the fundraiser to get the list (and get guilted into buying the supplies there, to raise money for the school) instead of stocking up on one cent glue sticks at Staples all summer. I'm new at this, so I wonder what else is lurking around the corner.

  3. PNW Mom Says:

    I hear ya! DD2 graduated this past year and the order form for graduation was ridiculous. We bought cap/gown/tassel. Did buy announcements but the smallest package was for 25 announcements. And I agree with Jenn....most kids don't want things like key chains with high school stuff on it AFTER they have graduated.

    We donated to the senior all night party, which was well worth the money. In our school, when they start as Freshman, you have to pay a $50 deposit. You get that back at the end of senior year as long as you have no unpaid fee's.

    Fee's and fundraising are one thing I don't miss about K-12.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Good for you! If I recall, I used some of my sister's (10-year-old) graduation garb when I graduated high school. Wink Mine looked a little different but was just fine.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    CJ--I used my sister's gown, too. I still have it, actually, and it is for the same school, but it is all white and they are now doing all red, so no go there, unfortunately.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Jenn--I know, they could totally clean up selling this stuff to freshmen. Class rings you can wear for 4 years, key chains, etc., would be snapped up by happy incoming frosh. Our school district decided to not have course related fees this year, but that may not hold for more than a year.

    Thrift--I refused to join the PTA here. Wasn't going to be held hostage by fees or worse yet, be made the person out there collecting them or trying to make our kids collect them. Ugh.

    PNW--That sounds like a sensible way to deal with fees.

  7. Bob B. Says:

    Our girls are home schooled, but our boys are enrolled with the county special ed program. We see some of this type of stuff with them.

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    I guess I can be grateful that only one of my kids is public schooled. My son is home schooled and so we don't have to worry about this nonsense with him.

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