Ann Arbor School Board Backpedals Tuition Scheme

circus-bear-f[1]Backpedaling like a Russian circus bear, the Ann Arbor School Board voted unanimously yesterday to rescind their plans to charge highschool students $100 tuition per semester for 7th hour classes. Prior to the meeting, the board went into a closed session with their legal counsel to discuss the issue. The recent ACLU lawsuit against the district over the tuition, challenging it on constitutional grounds, seems to be what brought about the change. School board President Deb Mexicotte admitted as much. Ann reported:

When asked whether the ACLU lawsuit spurred Wednesday’s decision, Mexicotte said it did help “coalesce the conversation” about the seventh-hour fees and what else the district needs to examine having in place.

The ACLU suit was filed last week in Washtenaw Circuit Court on behalf of two AAPS students. The 84 page complaint asked for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prevent the charging of tuition for public education.

AAPS has a per pupil foundation grant of about $9,000, which is $2,000 more than the majority of districts in the state. The district serves nearly 17,000 students with $150 million in state funding accounting for 82 percent of their revenues.

Mexicotte asserted that they believe they can still move forward with their tuition plan at some point, saying:

“We believe we can do this, and we believe we can do this legally under the constraints of the law and the constitution. But we may have to just take a breath and get a couple of other pieces in place before we really can implement it.”

The motion was originally proposed by board member Glenn Nelson at their budget meeting last June. At the time of the approval, Nelson was quoted saying he “fully expected” AAPS to be sued over the tuition scheme. 

The AAPS board clearly acted in haste when they approved their half-baked tuition plan. And that they now claim all that’s needed is a little time to study the issue and get it right, brings their collective wisdom into serious question.

What other poorly examined ideas have they flown-in under the radar?

Amy Kerr Hardin

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ann Arbor School Board Backpedals Tuition Scheme

  1. Jeff Salisbury says:

    I guess I am still confused. Students were being offered an additional hour per day over and above the regular six period day. Students and parents like the idea. They just didn’t like paying for it. Do I have that about right? Would the objection also apply to summer school classes? Credit recovery course outside the regular schools day? Enrichment classes? I did read a post on FB group that there is some sense that under certain circumstances a student might not be able to accumulate 22 course credits in four years based on a maximum accumulation (4 years x 6 hours = 24) so in order to allow students more flexibility the district presented this optional 7th period. I guess I am missing how this option is unconstitutional if in fact it is optional.

    • Laurie says:

      Actually most high schools now do classes in blocks which include a seventh hour class. My daughter had 7 classes with no choice in the matter.

  2. Michael Fernette says:

    As in Laurie’s, my district (midland) has had 7th hours for as longs as I can remember.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *