Private School Tells 300 Students To Pay Up Or Get Out

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]
(Photo: Google Maps)

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  1. Trai_Dep says:

    But… But… But…
    Vouchers!! School Choice!! Cheaper/better/faster!!
    Ponies. For crying out loud, Ponies!!

    (Education: expensive. The Alternative: Even More Expensive)

    • bearymore says:

      @Trai_Dep:

      If vouchers were available all that would happen is that the school would raise its tuition the amount of the voucher and offer a few more scholarships. Besides, around here non-Catholic private schools go for upward of $20,000 a year. Even if they didn’t raise the tuition, a voucher would cover only a small fraction of the total thus allowing a few more upper middle class kids to enter while gutting public school funding.

      • huadpe says:

        @bearymore: One of the more interesting voucher programs I’ve seen comes out of Sweeden. What they do is offer a voucher to go to school, but the school is prohibited from requiring more money than the voucher, and they have to accept students on an equal basis like a public school would. It seems to be fairly effective at keeping costs down.

        [www.economist.com]

        • Keavy_Rain says:

          @huadpe: I remember hearing about a similar program in Holland. Basically, each kid of school age has their federal school funding attached to them. The school they attend gets the money. If the parents aren’t happy with the school, they’re free to pull the kid and take them to another school.

          Apparently, it works because the schools compete with each other for students.

          Take all of that with a grain of salt, however, because it was on a John Stossel special. He did advocate the Canadian tar sand operation that has environmentalists up in arms as a viable alternative to drilling in Alaska for oil.

          • j-o-h-n says:

            @Keavy_Rain: This is also how it works in Iowa — you can enroll your kid in any public school (that will take them) and their money follows them.

        • Corporate_guy says:

          @huadpe: In America that defeats the purpose of a private school. You usually want to get away from poorer trashier people. It’s why you pay the extra money. If you let anyone into the private schools it will become the same as the public school.

          • Shadowman615 says:

            @Corporate_guy: Classy.

            Theoretically the students competing to get into the better private schools are going to be more focused on their education, just like the good rich children. Therefore they’re still keeping the “riff-raff” out while not necessarily basing that entirely on income.

            But if a persons income really matters to you above all else, even their behavior, then I don’t know what to say.

  2. ct_price says:

    Not the best way to handle the situation. Recession kids are going to be jacked up enough without being traumatized by this.

    • Claytons says:

      @ct_price: Absolutely. This could have been handled any number of ways without putting shame, harassment, etc. on the students.

      • alexcassidy says:

        @Claytons:

        FTFA: “adding that families in financial stress can work with the school. ” and “Hilbing said parents were notified twice last week-via letters sent home with students and the U.S. Postal Service-that their tuition payments had to be updated by Monday or their children would be sent home.”

        Based on that, the school didn’t put this on the students- the parents did.

        • Claytons says:

          @alexcassidy: @oneliketadow: They still didn’t need to round up the 300 student from class, take them outside fo the school and basically say “Call you parents and tell them to put up or shut up.” That’s a lot of totally unnecessary stress and shame on any student going through financial troubles in this hard time. The school absolutely had other options like telling the kids at the end of the school day that they couldn’t come back unless tuition requirements were met or many other possible scenarios that would have been better.

      • oneliketadow says:

        @Claytons: Apparently not, since the parents were warned and then figured they could just steal more schooling.

        • From the cubicle of PGibbons says:

          @oneliketadow: When are we going to start the School-Debt Prisons to deal with these deadbeats?

          Back in the good old days we trudged for miles through the snow to pay our education checks, and didn’t try sneaking into class to freeload on some unauthorized learning. Lock the scoundrels up!!

      • the_wiggle says:

        @Claytons: yes but avoiding “putting shame, harassment, etc.” is so NOT the Catholic way.

        *disclaimer: former catholic

  3. sweetnjoe says:

    I agree that the school was right in telling the parents that, but they should have executed it better. Dragging the children into the middle is not cool, its not their fault.

    • failurate says:

      @sweetnjoe: Well, eventually they have to do something. The parents did act on the schools contacts. They couldn’t let the kids just keep coming to school, getting something they didn’t pay for.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @sweetnjoe: How else can they do it? If enough kids don’t pay the money that was already budgeted for the year, the school would have to immediately fire teachers and staff and consolidate classrooms. The school is hard lining so they can know where they stand with tuition. Today they know. Now they can trim the payroll to meet the new tuition budget.

  4. wickedpixel says:

    can’t say I blame the school for doing it. I’m sure it could have been handled more discreetly but the way they went about it probably put more of an exclamation point on the issue. $450K across 300 students is only $1500 each, which is actually on the low end as far as private school tuition goes.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @wickedpixel: But that is what is owed. If you take into account the next few months @ 1k a month, you probably have to add another 2.5k per child that is at risk of never being paid.

  5. Triterion says:

    Why did they wait this long to throw them out? Wouldn’t they keep sending multiple letters home as soon as they started being behind?

  6. cartman005 says:

    Private schools are for stuck up parents who want to shelter their kids from the real world. You do not get a better education there.

    • dohtem says:

      @cartman005: right… because we all live in neighborhoods where the public schools are up to par? Yes, you *do* get a better education in a private school when you live in a shitty public school district.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @cartman005: Are you ready to get off your high horse yet? Private school education is NOT wasted, and you get plenty of real world experience and in some cases, better opportunities for future success.

      • shadydentist says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: It depends a lot on where you live. I was lucky enough to come from an excellent public school system, but its not hard to imagine a scenario where sending your child to private school is the clearly superior option.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @shadydentist: Yeah, I grew up in a public district that was so good the private schools were basically for kids who’d gotten expelled. Went to law school in a district that was so bad I didn’t know a single liberal-ass professor with their kids in the publics, because they were HORRIFIC.

          Where I live now, they’re fairly equal in most cases, so there’s a lot of parental choice involved w/r/t wanting a religious component to education.

          • varro says:

            @bball123h: It’s a mortal sin to not pay your tuition. You’ll go immediately to hell, or even worse, a public school.

            (Will not do the “boys can take it out in trade with the priests” joke. Nope, won’t do it.)

    • KyleOrton says:

      @cartman005: Ignoring everything else, both public and private schools vary widely. There’s no sense in such a blanket statement.

      Also, hurray for reply!

    • legotech says:

      @cartman005: Well, lets see…I went to public school in the US for 3rd and 4th grade, then my parents got tired of me getting beat up so I went to private school for 5th-8th grade and when I went back to public school for HS, I didn’t need a copy of my TENTH grade English book from my public High School as I already OWNED a copy…you see, it had been my EIGHTH grade English textbook at the private school. I liked it, I sailed through HS because of the prep I’d already done in a private Jr High.

      • Alys Brangwin says:

        @legotech: Well that’s certainly unfortunate. I took 12 AP classes in public school so I was sufficiently challenged for two years in high school. My eighth grade year was the only joke.

    • TanKill3R says:

      @cartman005: You clearly don’t come from the DC area. If you want your kids of have any kinds of an education in Wash DC you almost awayls have to send them to a private school as the public schools are closing faster then banks and violence each day is outrageous.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @cartman005:

      Right on. If properly motivated you can learn everythig you will need in life while laying on the ground in front of the fireplace in your log cabin home.

    • TalKeaton: Every Puzzle Has an Answer! says:

      @cartman005: It depends on the schools in question, of course, silly. ^__^ I went to public school for a matter of convenience. My sister and I graduated sixth and eighth in our class after going back to the public. Having a mix of both was really beneficial to my education in many different ways.

      Though, having been through the private school system, I have seen your reasoning at work in a few cases. Not most, but a few. Those kids are going to have issues no matter WHAT school they’re in.

    • shepd says:

      @cartman005:

      Having been to one for several years myself, I absolutely have to agree 110%. And I’ll throw in they foster religion in the kids. It’s up to you to decide if that’s bad or good. You can guess my opinion.

      This decision will be nothing but a good one for these students. Especially being able to go to a religion-free school. Nothing like being taught “Darwinism” for a change.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @shepd: Um, Catholics accept evolution as fact. Catholicism is not a Biblically-literal religion.

        In fact, the high school biology teacher that led the fight against the stupid “evolution is just a theory” stickers on the textbooks in Cobb County, Ga., is Catholic and was Catholic-educated. Part of what motivated him to fight so hard AGAINST creationism was his religious beliefs.

    • LatherRinseRepeat says:

      @cartman005:

      I agree. Private schools aren’t any better. For the most part, it doesn’t take much to be a teacher at a private school. Most don’t require any sort of teaching credentials or formal training in education.

      And for all you people that live in a really bad school district, you don’t have to send your kids to a private school. Just open a PO box in the area near a good school district. Or if you have a relative/friend that lives in the area, ask if you can use their address. I knew a few kids in high school that were coming from neighboring cities. Of course it sucked for the parents because they had to get up extra early to drop their kids off. But I’m sure it was worth it in the end.

  7. mannyv says:

    Well, I guess all the kids got a nice demonstration of the value of money.

  8. bball123h says:

    Glad to see that the Catholic school handling this in such a Christian manner!

  9. Nighthawke says:

    I work for a private school and instead of doing what the school in the OP did, does it on a personal basis.

    The business office would go to each class, call out each student owing and explain that they owe so much and it needs to be in by a certain date or they will not be allowed back in school (dropped).

    My guesstimate is that the OP’s school didn’t have a consistent debtor collection policy up until then.

    • hills says:

      @Nighthawke: That’s terrible! It’s NOT the students that owe the money – it’s the PARENTS. Calling the students out individually is not a good alternative to the group as described in the article.

      Your policy is cruel! Take it up with the parents!

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @hillsrovey: At some point, though, if the parents are going to continue dodging phone calls and ignoring letters, is that the student would not be allowed into the school. Better to give the heads up than surprise them with shutting the door in their face at 7am.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @hillsrovey: It would be ridiculous to not explain to students ahead of time that their parents are not paying the bill and that means they will be kicked out. Knowing is way better than not knowing.

  10. Michael Ortega says:

    How many days till we read a article about some kid committing suicide because he was pointed out as a “poor kid” by the staff? This is ridiculous that they handled this so poorly, at least tell the parents to pay up or make arrangements for a public school.

  11. atomoverride says:

    dead beat parents.

  12. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    They handled this so poorly, and these kids don’t necessarily have a comprehension of the amount of money or effort that goes into paying for private education, whether it’s less expensive or more expensive. If the school couldn’t get ahold of the delinquent parents or the parents refused to take the calls, they should have arranged meetings with the students during the day and should have told them that they would not be able to return the next day and would be denied entrance if they did not notify their parents of the late payments and they would be kept out of school until the parents paid.

    Harsh, sure, but these delinquent parents are the worst example if they want their kids to learn money management.

  13. N.RobertMoses says:

    That sounds like The Chicago Way.

  14. your new nemesis says:

    I went to a Catholic school as a kid, never had this happen though. I have to wonder what biblical virtue this sort of blatant disregard for people is extolling. Now i gotta go read my bible, or find a pdf version and search for “excommunication” and “extortion.” While I will contend that it is the responsibility of the parents to pay up, it is also the responsibility of the school to handle the matter professionally, not use the kids education as leverage. It was the first day of school after an extended break, where were the phone calls and meetings between quarters?

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @skizsrodt: So when the school has to immediately terminate 10+ teachers (assuming a 30-1 student to teacher ratio or lower) because they have no money to pay them and class sizes balloon way past the legal occupancy of the classroom based on the fire code, the paying parents aren’t going to be upset that the school gets closed down? You act as if these students failing to pay has no effect on the school.

  15. custommadescare says:

    Haha, that’s my old high school (not by choice, but my only other option was Thornton, and this was darn near 20 years ago when it just started getting bad).

    Anyhoo, maybe if they didn’t waste paper and man hours sending out solicitations for money every other month, they wouldn’t be so worried.

    And before anyone can brow beat me about that, I know the school doesn’t send them out. But still, my poor* family gave enough for me to go there, and the school didn’t do anything to persuade me to help them out in the future.

    Sorry nuns, but ya gotta go!

  16. Damocles57 says:

    It sounds like another example of a religion using tactic of guilt and humiliation to control the congregation when other earlier measures failed.

    Works even better when you get the children involved. I don’t suppose they personally pledged the money to the school. It might have been better if the church leaders had had all the parents stand during a Sunday service and read the amounts owed. If the bills were not settled then their children would not be welcome at school on Monday.

    • TanKill3R says:

      @Damocles57: What the hack are you talking about? Religion has nothing to do with this, its a private business the school is running. They wanted payments paid, not kids praying harder. You fail.

    • TalKeaton: Every Puzzle Has an Answer! says:

      @Damocles57: Wow that’s rather… well, bigoted, for one. There’s little in the article to suggest that any of what you said above is true.

      In fact, the only reference to anything religious above is the fact that it’s a Catholic school, which can range from the extraordinarily strict to really not being all that different from a public school outside of material offered.

      And from the sounds of it, they had tried other methods of contacting the parents. With a deficit that large, it’s doubtful the school would be able to remain OPEN if they didn’t get the amount in ASAP. So, in the end, it just looks like a financially desperate school trying to get the money it was owed. A non-religious private school would be just as likely to do the same.

    • xip says:

      @Damocles57:

      This doesn’t appear to have anything to do with religion. This is a private school, and it has to keep its budget like everyone else. There is no indication in the article that this has anything to do with religion.

      While I don’t agree with speaking to all the children as a group, I do think it’s acceptable to tell the students personally that they may be kicked out if payment isn’t made. They might as well find out now instead of finding out by being sent home unexpectedly.

      Also, the article mentioned that it is the beginning of a new quarter at the school. The parents have gone half the semester without paying, so I think that drastic measures are warranted.

  17. Jubilance22 says:

    How embarrassing for those kids. What did they expect them to do, pony up the money right then and there?

  18. ipodrulz says:

    The school has to stop whining! My tuition for high school is $11,000 a year! I’m ALWAYS late on payments, it’s just something that slips your mind. If my school embarrassed me like that I’d probably walk to the school down the rode and apply there!

    • bxbrett says:

      @ipodrulz:

      “down the rode”

      Not getting your $11,000 a years worth I see. Might want to try that other school “down the road”.

    • varro says:

      @ipodrulz: A bit heavy on the exclamation points there, are we?

      (How many high school students can pay $11,000 a year themselves?)

    • ZekeSulastin says:

      @ipodrulz: You might want to work on that whole “paying on time just slips my mind” problem: here in the real world, consistent late payment tends to lead you being separated from whatever source of expense you’re blowing off.

      … oh wait, I forgot, these days we can use not reading a contract we signed as good reason not to follow the terms. Carry on with learning your irresponsibility; with any luck, we’ll wind up right back where we started in ten or so years once you all enter our world so that we’re REALLY screwed!

  19. m-p{3} says:

    What if the parents don’t pay anyway? Less kids will go to private schools, which will therefore requires less teachers and leads to layoffs.

    I guess some of these teachers will be forced into going into the public system if they want to get a salary.

  20. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Damocles57: Don’t let your obvious personal disdain for religion factor into the fact that private schools are also businesses which have to balance budgets and supply a service. This has nothing to do with religion. There is nothing to suggest that the parents who owed money were members of the same congregation, nor is there any indication that the school is also a church. Don’t make this into what it isn’t.

  21. chocolate1234 says:

    This is just awful. Humiliating the students is no way to go about this. I’m sure a lot of the parents are having a tough time with the economy right now, and while I understand the school needs to have money to function, they still owe it to the students and their parents to handle sensitive situations in a professional and discreet manner.

  22. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    bball123h: Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. – Ecclesiastes 5:5

    Nothing un-Christian about requiring people to do what they agreed to do. Just because God says to be gracious does not mean God also said to be foolish with money and let people off the hook.

    • From the cubicle of PGibbons says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Agreed. But the point is what they did to the KIDS. Doubt that many of the youngsters had checkbooks to whip out and write ‘em a check. It’s a contract between the school and the parent(s), traumatizing little Johnny ain’t helping their case.

      Chicago Public Schools were pretty uniformly bad years ago, not sure if they’re much better now. The Catholic schools were the default place to aim for sending your kid regardless of your actual religion or class status.

  23. Chris Walters says:

    @pecan 3.14159265 (because comments still won’t work on my browser, curse you Denton!): Agreed that this isn’t a religious issue. Any private school could have done this.

  24. Crystal Wojcinski says:

    I have to argue as others have that private schools are not just for “stuck up parents”. I was in a horrible school district when I was in high school, third from the bottom in my state. Most of the people in my private school were in a similar state in terms of choice of high schools. Far from this being an easy choice, most parents struggled to pay their tuition as they came from solidly blue collar middle class families. I can really feel the pain because while help from the diocese was there, it could not reach everyone. I doubt these parents let the tuition go idly considering how their children’s collegiate futures depended so strongly on being in this high school. Just try getting into a decent school when the local public school gives “B’s” for just showing up.

    • Pious_Augustus says:

      @Crystal Wojcinski:

      I was in the same situation. Luckily my parents sent me to a Catholic High School after the area recieved a huge transformation and let’s just say that whole event scared me for life.

  25. Crystal Wojcinski says:

    I must add, I know several people from Marian and that is NOT a good public school district by any means.

  26. Maulleigh says:

    Kids don’t have to go to Catholic school. That’s what public schools are for. I think more businesses should do things like this. Can’t say they didn’t warn ‘em.

    I always pay every bill on time or early so I have a big complaint with people who aren’t perfect like me in every way.

    • From the cubicle of PGibbons says:

      @Maulleigh: Chicago Public Schools used to be dangerous, as in deadly, and any working class parent that could find a way to afford it sent their kids to Catholic schools so they would actually learn.

      Apparently these kids are learning that their school administrators are dicks.

  27. rainbowsandkittens says:

    Wouldn’t Chicago be a little cold in the second week in March?

  28. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Maulleigh: Exactly. Private schools are businesses as well, because public schools are government funded and are not businesses. Private schools have a responsibility to all of the students to provide education and services accordingly, and when a set of parents can’t pay, the quality of education suffers for all the other students whose parents did pay on time.

    The article specified technology issues at the school as result of a storm. It’s reasonable that parents were not able to pay during the time the storm disabled their technology, and it’s reasonable that the school was not able to check for payments. But in a case like this, I would get in the car and go hand them a check. Deadlines are deadlines. Pay early, pay on time. If you wouldn’t pay your credit card the very single day it was absolutely due and go “oops” if the system was down and wouldn’t let you make a payment, why would you do it with your child’s education?

  29. chatterboxwriting says:

    This happened at my private college all the time. If students had balances, professors were told to call their names at the beginning of the first class of the semester, give them a red slip, and kick them out. Same thing with dorms – if you didn’t settle up, the lock to your door was changed.

  30. dwasifar says:

    The Catholic church is sitting on huge piles of money, and they have to publicly shame children to collect on some back invoices?

  31. Youthier says:

    @pecan 3.14159265 From the experience of myself and my friends who went to private school and had middle class families, your parents let you know exactly how much that private school educaton is costing them everytime they see a report card.

    I understand that this wasn’t the best way to handle it but it was hardly being singled out as the poor kid. We’re talking 300 kids sent away!

  32. humphrmi says:

    @rainbowsandkittens: Depends on what day this happened. Yesterday it was in the 60′s (F), today it was in the 20′s and 30′s (F).

  33. thecupcakecomission says:

    I went to private school for all but my last two years of Hi!school. My parents meant well, but they couldn’t afford it and we probably should have never been enrolled in privates.

    At least a couple of times a year, the school would call us up and tell us we couldn’t go back until we paid. Boy were those fun times! Especially when you’re standing in the admin line with the others kids were actually sick the previous day and you have to drag the damn bookkeeper out and get her to explain your absence to the admin yahoos.

    My grade school used to hand out bright yellow slips to those families with delinquent accounts, used to hand them to the teacher to pass out in front of everyone.Beats paying postage. Some teachers would include commentary about how important it was to pay, or else THEY wouldn’t paid. Like much about the situation. I used to cringe every time the bookkeeper came into the classroom.

  34. Nettwerk says:

    Don’t worry, we’re on a mission from God.

  35. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    If only Jack Black were here…he’d wrestle ‘luchadores’ to earn the money those kids need! Help us, El Nacho Libre, por favor!

  36. David Smith says:

    I knew there was a reason that i didn’t want to go to Marian Catholic. I actually went to Brother Rice instead. Marian is located in Chicago Heights and it’s considered the snooty HS. all of my friends from grade school went there. Don’t get me started on Marist. i was the only one not to go. I am the middle of three kids and all three of us were private school kids (grammar and high school). My tuition alone went from $5000 in 2000 to $5700 in 2004. I don’t see myself as better than other people, it was just the simple fact that private school was better than my school district. my dad and his siblings went to public schools, where my mom and her siblings went to private. It was a matter of what was the better option.

    • DaoKaioshin says:

      @David Smith: i remember our public school having academic competitions with marist and marian catholic and it wasn’t a challenge. and we went to a school that was failing nclb

  37. lakecountrydave says:

    I agree that it was not a very Christian way of handling the situation. The school’s issue is with the parents not the students. It is hard enough being a teenager without your school calling you out as a deadbeat. These children (or at least the vast majority of them) cannot even legally enter into a contract due to their age. I know (2nd hand) that the public school that I attended would not release your transcripts or issue a diploma if it was owed any debt. Virtually guarantying that they will get their money. Even if the other party disputes the charge they cannot wait for a judgment. These parents would have to pay up in order for their kids to apply for college. This school reports that 97% of last years graduating class enrolled in college.

    [www.marianchs.com]

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
    -Matthew 6:24

  38. Vanilla5 says:

    I don’t think they had to drag the kids out in the hall and call them out like that, but if parents are ducking and dodging tuition bills, you can’t go to class. Plain and simple. They need the money from tuition to pay for the teachers, activities, building, lunch, and everything else to keep the school running. It’s a business just as much as it is an educational institution. There’s nothing “un-Christian” about telling them they can’t attend school unless their parents pay their tuition. It’s not public school where you automatically get to go. It’s something their parents CHOSE to pay extra for.

    Now, I would handled it differently. If parents don’t pony up, call them in the middle of the day at work – one by one – and tell them, “We’ve contacted you numerous times about Tommy’s tuition bill but have not received payment. If we do not receive payment from you by the close of business today Tommy will not be allowed to attend school until payment is received. A sealed letter for you has also been sent home with Tommy.”

  39. varro says:

    Even though it’s a shock to the kids involved (the school should have at least let them finish the day), private schooling is a luxury.

    Any child is eligible for the public schools in the various school districts in the south Chicago suburbs.

    B-b-ut that would be *socialism*!!

  40. Cattivella says:

    @cartman005: Wow, a blanket statement made with absolutely no basis. How refreshing.

    Like others have said, it depends on the school district. I grew up in a very good public school district, but went to private school for the majority of my elementary school education. When my parents could no longer afford private school, I went into public school very far ahead of my classmates and with a better foundation.

  41. MooseOfReason says:

    $8,000 a year?

    That’s about half what it costs each student in public school, at least here in New Jersey.

    Forget vouchers. What if people were given back however much in taxes they paid into the system, like a tax refund, if they didn’t send their child to public school? Even though they could use the money however they wanted, it’s likely that most parents would use it to send their children to school.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      What if people were given back however much in taxes they paid into the system, like a tax refund, if they didn’t send their child to public school?

      @MooseOfReason: I know I’m about to expose my ignorance of the issue here but isn’t that where the voucher money is supposed to come from? I thought one of the arguments against using vouchers is that it would pull money away from the public schools.

  42. RedwoodFlyer says:

    In other news…if you try to board one of our flights using a ticket that you did a chargeback on….expect to become engine meat.

  43. crankymediaguy says:

    Yes, the parents should be paying their kids’ tuitions, but isn’t it just possible that some of them are out of work right now so coming up with money is difficult or impossible at the moment?

    If only the Catholic Church had been as vigilant with its child molesting priests, it wouldn’t have had to pay HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to their victims and therefore wouldn’t be quite so starved for money that it has to embarrass kids in front of their peers.

  44. Pious_Augustus says:

    Bottom line, you owe.

    Here is the problem here, a Catholic Education is the best thing they are going to have going for them. If they get kicked out of these schools prepare to experience the schools in Chicago Heights and in Harvey which are the worst in the nation and that would mean these kids would go to some of the most violent schools in America.

    I am from the South West Side of Chicago and I can tell you, if you are in one of these areas in which the Section 8s are getting moved too and were the black folks get to moved and your parents decide to stay prepare for a life altering event which will ruin your children’s lifes.

    Prepare for your children to experience hell, racism get rocks thrown at you, get chased down, kids who dont care about killing you.

    Prepare for children who dont have parents but raised by the system well their single mothers are out getting their nails and hair “did.”

    For years, I was an emotional wreck. All my friend’s family’s were smart enough to move but we had to be the tolerant one. And yeah after so many murders and drug deals and kids who moved in with their grand parents and single mothers who loved the area who claimed they could sleep in their garage with it opened in a few years they brought their entire area with them and yeah a WAR ZONE it was.

    A Catholic Education and High School saved me from this mess but I was still a mess. Imagine looking behind your back every single day just keeping a look out and a menality that no kid should go through.

    Today I am an Adult with two kids and I would glady send them to Catholic Schools so they can avoid the mess that is the black community (Did I also mention they are mixed?).

    I hope the Catholic Church helps them out because I can’t imagine these kids having to go to a high school in Chicago Heights.

  45. Pizza Club says:

    Adult movie star Roxy Deville went to this high school.

  46. Jack Doyle says:

    And in a related story, grocery store tells customers that they must pay if they want groceries.

  47. FlyersFan says:

    This type of behavior is typical of catholic school, they make an example out of you in front of your peers, but I do believe this is very extreme since its not the kid’s fault their parents havent been paying. I dont see why they wouldnt just defer it to the end of the school year and not advance any of the students a grade if they arent paid in full by June.

    I went through 12 years of catholic school because the public school system (yeah im looking at you Bristol Twp)is a complete joke. The high school produces more criminals and druggies than college bound students. A few years ago their valedictorian was asked not to come to graduation because there were threats of gang violence against him.

    I would much rather be called out in front of my peers at catholic school than go into the public school and worry about getting my sneakers stolen every day.

  48. Monica Teasdale says:

    Leave it to the Catholics to punish the kids for their parents mistakes. Things haven’t changed since I went to Catholic school in the 70′s…

  49. IT-Chick says:

    I spend more than the annual tuition for private school on daycare… (vomits) and I live near Chicago.
    They’re paying $700 a month for the private school, not too bad if you ask me.
    Why would you think about sending your child to school, as a parent, knowing you owe money?
    If I am late on my son’s daycare/preschool payment you bet I wouldn’t drop him off without working something out.

  50. HRGirl wants a cookie says:

    This happened to me when I was a kid and it was mortifying. My parents were both laid off unexpectedly when I was in 7th grade but believed that they would find the money somehow. And though it may not have been on time, it was paid in full before the end of the year, every year. Kids put in this position start to not ask for things that they genuinely needs because they are afraid of putting their family in a wose financial situation. I’ll never be able to thank my folks enough for driving me an hour each day to a school surrounded by fields and forests instead of making me walk through the metal detector at the jr. high 2 blocks from our house.
    That said, this kind of behavior comes back to bite private school administrators in the butt. In trying to “model the way of Catholic charity” students were expected to give money darn near every week for pediatric AIDS, breast cancer, etc. I get a big laugh now when they beg me for an alumni donation and I can say that my extra pennies go directly to those worthy causes.
    And to the priest who asked my beautiful, proud Black mother “why don’t you people just go back to where you came from” when she was late on a payment? I hope you have to eat ramen for the rest of your life.
    Private school is an investment and not all private school families are stuck-up rich brats. *goes back to blowing my nose in $100 bills and drinking coffee sprinkled with gold leaf*

  51. johnarlington says:

    Down in GA, a lot of the private schools were founded in the 60s. They were for children whose parents could afford to send them and who didn’t want them in integrated schools. My opinion of south GA public and private schools, they all suck.

  52. Scoobatz says:

    So, the school is owed $450,000 and they want their money? Those bastards.

  53. nakedscience says:

    I understand they want their money, but doing this to the students — WHO CANNOT PAY — was wrong, wrong, wrong times a million, period, end of fucking discussion.

  54. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @m-p{3}

    “Less kids will go to private schools, which will therefore requires less teachers and leads to layoffs.”

    This sentence makes it pretty clear that, if you went to a public school, you should have gone private, and vice versa.

  55. nidolke says:

    If you just *have* to send your kid to private school because the public schools in their district suck, why didn’t the parents take that into consideration before moving to that city? Save the money on private school tuition by living somewhere where the public schools are good. Can’t afford to do either? Then they shouldn’t have had kids.

  56. P_Smith says:

    Wow. Those financial settlements on molestation lawsuits must really be hitting hard on the catholic corporation’s coffers.

    Now they’re pinching every penny instead of pinching every pen…uh, pencil.

  57. moscow says:

    They did it wrong. You send the little finger of the child to his parent’s home, with a request for payment. Those that did not pay, do no get to go home.

    But don’t drag the poor children out on the street, that’s inhuman

  58. Silversmok3 says:

    While I agree that education is hideously expensive, and understand that in some places its either private school or a decrepit pubic school, that has nothing to do with this article.

    The parents of these kids were negligent in the extreme to allow their bills with the school to fall behind this badly and have the nerve to expect kind treatment.Ill bet the parents of these kids arent $1100 past due on their Lexus payments, and if they were i doubt they could complain about Toyota Motor Credit repoing the car.

    And if the parents were not realistically able to cover the balance owed, they needed to talk to the school and pull their kids out, instead of coasting on the honest payment of others.
    -Silversmok3

  59. littlemisslondon says:

    I work at a religious private school, and we would NEVER do this. EVER.

  60. banmojo says:

    1. private schools are often far better at educating youth compared with public schools; the teachers are paid more so care more, the classes are smaller, more is expected from the students, discipline can be harsher, the list goes on

    2. this school had every right to send the kids home until their tuition was paid up. drastic measure? not really – pay your bill, bitch!!

  61. prag says:

    That’s the way to do it. It is not acceptable to put the school in financial jeopardy, and risk paying children’s educations, because you can’t pay your bills. Pay up or go to public school. Beat it deadbeat…

  62. soloudinhere says:

    I WISH my private school education was $8k a year.

    It was $12k a year when I started in seventh grade in 1999. By the time I graduated it was over $15,000.

    It’s currently $21k for a day student, $45k for a boarder.

    So here’s the deal: if you can’t afford private school, your kids don’t get to go to private school. If you live in a hellish district, and you can’t afford private school, then you need to MOVE.

    Not paying your bills is not an option. it’s not up to others to support your child’s education until you find the money.

    One parent said she didn’t recieve adequate notice and she didn’t think it would matter if her payment was a month late? Let me try that with my electric company and see what happens. After all, it’s their job to keep nagging me until I pay, right??

  63. Dilbitz says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat:

    That doesn’t work where I live. You have to provide your mortgage statement, or property tax paperwork to prove you live within the district. I’m a bit peeved because my house and my neighbor’s house are in the shitty district that pays twice the amount of everyone else around us. The people across the street go to the “good” district.

    I could pretend that my daughter lives with my brother, but if for some reason it is found out that she doesn’t actually live there, I have to pay “out of district tution” at a price tag of $1200.

  64. richcreamerybutter says:

    I still can’t reply to anyone directly, but Pecan3.141′s comment on excluding the religion factor within a private business is interesting. I’m willing to bet that their religion allows them to discriminate against gays and pregnant unmarried teachers. So yes, their religion should be factor in how they handle such situations. You can’t conveniently invoke your religious philosophy at your own convenience. It’s not unlike how the Mormons diligently worked to defeat Prop 8 then were *shocked* at the backlash.

    I guess I’m not surprised a Catholic institution is continuing to ensure their increasing irrelevance.

    This incident is remarkably similar to the New Mexico school that suddenly (and publicly) dragged poor kids from the hot lunch line and gave them cold cheese sandwiches. Unfortunately it seems that educators feel humiliation is an acceptable solution, when in reality they are racing to become the next Columbine.

  65. DaoKaioshin says:

    this sounds like something you should calmly tell the kids on friday afternoon, taking them out for an assembly and telling them they’re not coming back on monday if their parents don’t pay. ya know, like a firing

  66. Invective says:

    The ‘Right to Work’ states, are all working together to move public schools into the private sector. It’s why they have cut those states school budgets severely in good times, they simply don’t want to pay for education out of the state funds. This is why many of those states are refusing the stimulus money for public education. States like Idaho, (Run by a completely uneducated and moronic farmer..), say that they will not be spending the money on public schools, because they do not have the money to match the dollar for dollar requirements in order to receive the Federal monies. Truth is they want public school systems to fail in those states, so they can move those students to the private sector.
    Education needs should be set by the Universities and colleges by the States and not by politicians.
    Republicans know that the the retiring baby boomers will outnumber all others and the main thing they’re concerned about is not having higher taxes. So they’ve done their level best to bust government. Good job so far too.

  67. 4phun says:

    If the Catholic Church in America wasn’t hemorrhaging money and parishioners due to the pedophile priests then they could assume the expense of those children at risk in his down economy.

    Why doesn’t Rome kick in an make up the difference for the poor in America after all these years of asking for money for the poor?