A new quarter just started this week at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago, and on the first day back, 300 students were pulled out of class and lined up outside the school, then told to contact their parents and pay their outstanding tuition or they’d have to leave. The Chicago Tribune writes that “by lunchtime, about 100 students were sent home-some confused, some embarrassed and a few angry.” The school says parents owe around $450,000 in outstanding tuition payments, far higher than usual, and that they’re trying to avoid layoffs and other budget cutbacks. Will the poor economy lead to higher attendance at public schools? “If you want a good education, you have to dish it out,” one parent told the paper.
Update: There are a lot of extra details in the article, but to be fair to the school for those who don’t read it, let me add: the school says they sent home letters and made phone calls last week, tuition is about $8k a year, and the amounts owed varied from $750 to $5,000. Also:
To prevent losing more students, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced last month that $1 million in emergency aid would be available for families that lost jobs this school year. It was deluged with requests within days.
“Marian Catholic High School students told: Pay tuition or go home” [Chicago Tribune]
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