It’s not unusual to see public schools that charge students for extracurriculars or sports, but we were surprised to see this bill from an Illinois school district where it costs $586 to enroll in tenth grade, including $300 for a Chromebook.
This was first brought to the attention of our semi-estranged ex-sibling site Gawker by an irritated parent.
There must be ways to save on that $600, right? I mean, students shouldn’t have to buy the Chromebook if they already have their own portable computer, right? Not so fast! The school wants students to all have the same computer. No weaseling out of this one. (It’s not clear whether students could go buy their own $200 Acer Chromebook and save a few bucks that way.) What’s the district’s justification for the computer? Sure, three hundred bucks is a lot, but that amount is…
…a cost point that could easily be offset by replacing select print textbooks with electronic books and eliminating the requirement that students purchase a scientific calculator, resulting in a cost savings for families over their high school career.
What do scientific calculators run now, ten to twenty bucks? The e-textbook argument would be a good one, except, the parent points out, most of the books the district uses aren’t available electronically. Oh.