My Pre-k child is getting kicked out of Public school. Can they do this ?

Bj - posted on 03/17/2011 ( 389 moms have responded )

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My Pre-k child is getting kicked out of school.



I take my kids to another county for school(i drive a 100 miles a day for better education and teachers), which is allowed. I have never paid for tuition $1000.00 for pre-k or Kindergarten. I got told on monday 03/14/11 that the school is starting something new. That they wanted to tell me that pre-k tuition for the whole school year is now due and they will work out a payment plan. No Notice, nothing in writing, just "oh hey, bye the way you owe us for the whole year." This is a lottery funded program and this school system has dropped to 4 days a week (tue-fri), how can they do this?? we don't have it so my son's last day is next friday. They won't allow him to finish, graduate, or celebrate. What happen to no kid left behind?? I am stressing to the max and trying not to cry but i will soon if I don't get some help, I am running out of time. . . . . .for once i am at a loss for words?



thanks for listening

Sincerely,

B.J. Cole

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Laural - posted on 03/20/2011

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If you live in a different county, then fees may apply. We opted to do pre-K at home for our children. It is free, and the best education they can get because I am the one doing it. We are opting for home schooling as well, to avoid poor teachers and a half-rate education. There are many alternatives to traditional public schooling.

Iris - posted on 03/21/2011

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I never applied for free Pre-K...we don't qualify. We do however pay for pre-school, and a lot more than $1,000.00 per year. If the school is that good and you are happy with your childs development than pay. Otherwise it's just pre-K. Good luck.

Lizeth - posted on 03/21/2011

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I have never heard of a program where preschool is free unless you are low income and can qualify for Head Start. Most of us Americans have had to pay for our children's preschool education. I believe you are getting a bargain. $1000 for a whole year. this is amazing! I was paying $1000 a month. It is time for parents to start taking responsibility and stop free loading on the system. If you go to another country you would most likely have to pay for your child's education so be grateful.

Jodi - posted on 03/19/2011

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"That they wanted to tell me that pre-k tuition for the whole school year is now due and they will work out a payment plan."

So what happened to the *and they will work out a payment plan* part of it? Are you saying that it is $1000 for a year, and they want it all up front, or that $1000 is for the year, and they want a payment arrangement in place for it, because they mean two different things. So I guess I am confused as to exactly what they are after, given you mentioned they wanted to work out a payment plan.

Lisa - posted on 03/20/2011

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most likely because you are not in your district. yes they can do this. If everyone could go to "better" schools they would.

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389 Comments

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Bridget - posted on 03/28/2011

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I don't know what state you live in, but I live in Georgia & am a PreK Assistant Teacher for the lottery funded PreK. Since the program is lottery funded, the only cost parents are required to pay is for the child's meals ($25 a week) plus any cost for before and/or after care if they are using it.

Stacey - posted on 03/28/2011

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I would def be calling my local governor and seeing what advice they have for you. Surely, they could do something to help you out.

Stephanie - posted on 03/28/2011

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Um, if you were driving to my county and thought you were going to just put your kids in school there for free I would be outraged. I'm betting someone ratted you out for not living there and trying to put your kids in school there for free. It's illegal. The reason you have to pay is because your property taxes aren't contributing towards it. Sorrry, but that's how it works. Be glad you got it free this long and either pay or put your kids in school in your district. Your post made me really mad.

Sherri - posted on 03/28/2011

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Hi BJ, yes they can do that. Our pre- k program is also lottery based and is totally funded outside of the regular school budget. However if a child is not from our district and is allowed to join our program, and the same is true for school K-12th, then they have to pay tuition. Your school district is getting, or will be getting the government $, but the district your child is attending isn't getting anything, therefore next year it would be short $ for another child to attend. Sorry. In our district they stopped allowing children from other districts to even apply and now we have a waiting list.

Vanessa - posted on 03/28/2011

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That is total madness - can you talk to other parents? Did you miss a notificiation letter? I'd talk to your local political representative and the local paper and radio station. You might not be able to change things but you can make a lot of noise.

Becky - posted on 03/28/2011

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Is this a public school program? If you are paying tuition it is probably run by a private company and unfortunately programs like NCLB only apply to public schools. Private schools are a different world, and they only answer to their board. I would find out who that group of people are and voice your concerns. If you can get other parents to speak with you in this matter it would make them more likely to take you seriously. They unfortunately have every ability to say to bad so sad. Good luck!

Laura - posted on 03/28/2011

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Sorry that you are going through all that. They should have provided you notice. However, I don't think you should expect another school district to cover your child's cost of education. If you like the schools in the other district, then move there. The people in that district pay for it through their property tax. Nothing is free and nothing should be expected. $1000 may seem like a lot, but I have had to make the sacrifice for my childs education and send her to private schools, even though the schools in our area are "the best in the state".... My feeling is that we had these children and it is our own responsibility to raise, care for and pay for them to the best of our ability.
Sorry, I just don't agree with the complaint.

Sarah - posted on 03/28/2011

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Write a letter to the superintentat of the schoold district. If that doesnt work then write a letter to your state represenitive, senater. Even the Govenor. Someone will be willing to help you figure out what you can do.

Amber - posted on 03/28/2011

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I guess I don't quite understand why you've never paid tuition before? If you're child is on a scholarship then you absolutely shouldn't have to pay. You did say they would work out a payment plan with you and that is a great option as well. Make sure for next year you fill out all the proper forms to get financial aid if this school does something like that.

Stefanie - posted on 03/28/2011

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Pre-K isn't funded by the federal govt. The school has some customer service issues but that's it. Sorry :( I imagine they had some grant or state money before, but that it ran out.

Jennifer - posted on 03/28/2011

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Hi BJ,

The voluntary enrollment of your child in another school district will not fall under the "No Child Left Behind" Act. Typically, when a child from another locality is enrolled in a public school, there is tuition charged to cover what will not be covered by that localities tax base, or funded from local, state and federal funds.
If this school system allowed your child to attend without paying for his enrollment, and you are now in April of the school year which will end around June, I'd appeal to the school board of that school system.

No Child Left Behind is funded by the government and the funds are distributed based on enrollment, or potential/past enrollment. If your locality has a Head Start program (income based enrollment), you may have already found out that they are limited, by funding, as to how many children they will accept each school year. No Child Left Behind is, unfortunately, pushed through the public school system and does not encourage success of the gifted and average students, only the completion of the minimum standards of the "at risk" children.

If your concern is that your child will not get a "head start" when he enrolls in public school this fall, you can purchase a couple Pre-K workbooks and set-up a designated learning time to work on a few assignments each day. This is what I do with my, now 6th grade son each summer.
I don't know if this will ease your mind any, but along with the DARE program, the No Child Left Behind program is one of the heaviest federal/state funded programs that the federal government mandates must be supported/paid for each year, with, sadly, the highest failure rates. Drug use/problems are up as a result of DARE teaching children who would otherwise have never been exposed to drugs, about drugs. The NCLB act is a huge failure as the tracking of the success of these "at risk" students, proved that any inroads that had been made, were lost by second grade.

PS: You can download many great and free worksheets online!

Good luck!

Esther - posted on 03/28/2011

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you could just make payments but some schools have scholorship that helps pay the tuition. talk with the princpal be very curtoius. thats what i did for my daughter when they wanted 600 for tuition i didnt pay anything and they let her stay in school

Colleen - posted on 03/28/2011

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Yes, this does not make sense. Pre-K is funded by the state. They can't ask for payment of it. You need to contact Coordinated Child Care because they run that program. They will call that school for you.

Rose - posted on 03/28/2011

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Post a reply!
While I do understand your frustration, you have more options than you may think. You could move to the district that you want your children to attend. We did this when our youngest was in school. You may pay more taxes, but you would have more rights as well. You could check into preK in the district you live in. You could start your own group if you are home during the day. You could arrange to make payments or if that is not affordable at this time maybe you could get a part time job to supplement so it would be affordable. Remember always that they are your children and you more than any school or state funded program should be responsible for making sure they get the best education possible. They will also handle this just as well as you do, so take the lead and make it as easy as possible. Good luck!

Suzanne - posted on 03/28/2011

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First of all what state do you live in. Second of all, I'm a believe in the squeaky wheel gets the oil. If you make enough calls to enough people in that district, I'm sure they can work something out with you for the rest of the year. I live in NJ, so I know towns do charge families from other towns if they want to come go to a different district. Should they start this mid-year? Of course, not. But I think due to all the budget cuts most school districts are all starting to implement a tuition for out of town residents. I'm curious to see how you make out.

Janis - posted on 03/28/2011

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I would check on line on your state educational laws and county. This is a travesty - our educational system is totally broken (see www.libertyinamerica.org for a great article). I do know they will lie to you and tell you they can do certain things or that you have to do certain things....I learned I had to know the law and fight. We really must start attending school board meetings, county meetings, etc. We have allowed the "system" to become tyrannous and unfair. I do not know what state you are in, but google your state educational laws. Also, contact your school board, or representative.

Cari - posted on 03/28/2011

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BJ first off check with your state Department of Education see if they have rules governing out of district placements (some states allow it only with both counties {districts} approving it, some don't allow it at all, etc.). Second, check the local Dept. of Ed and find out when this tuition rule kicked in -- was it something new or has it always been there and due to financial issues you are only now being notified. Does the county where your child attends school know of your address (out of county), and if they do, did they know from day 1? In my opinion, if they knew from the day you registered your child and nothing was said about tuition, then I would be requesting they grandfather your child in (at least through the end of this year) and treat him as a local student. (Assuming locals don't pay tuition.) Good luck.

Melody - posted on 03/28/2011

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were i live pre k in only for low income family. so if i want my kids to get a head start i have to find the money and a private school.

Catherine - posted on 03/28/2011

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Well, I know that unless your child is special needs, in MN we have to pay for pre-k. It's not necessary to a child's education. Many people like pre-k for reasons involving daycare or learning social skills, but for educational purposes, the advantage is short term. At a charter school that I looked into recently, putting your kids in their per-k program didn't reserve them a spot in the school either. Kindergarten, on the other hand, is part of the education provided to all children. Frankly, I'm surprized, and shocked to hear that they didn't charge you earlier in the year. I've never heard of a pre-k program that is funded publicly. Is it somehow possible that you misunderstood early in the year that you would have to pay for pre-k, or did they run out of funding? It just doesn't make sense to me. I can't see where, if it is what you said, that they're doing something new, that they couldn't make you pay for previous months, because if that's the case, you may have bill collectors after you. It may be that you have to pay for the remainder of the year. If it's a full day program, you would probably pay 1000 for the next few months. I know people who paid nearly 900 a month for pre-k for one child for a full day program. I would reccomend getting copies of the school's enrollment application, and reading the fine print. In the meanwhile, you may either have to set up a payment arrangement, or find another pre-k program. I bet if you're ending the child's school year early, the teacher might let you send treats for a good-bye party type of thing. The good news, is that this is most likely going to be harder on you than on the child. You could even do a special activity with the child to act as a graduation party. Maybe invite over some kids from the class or something. At a pre-k age, kids don't always respond to these things the way we expect. When my pre-k daughter's cat was killed by a neighbor's dog while we were out of town, I was hysterical thinking about how sad and upset she would be. Her response to hearing that the cat died was, "So when can I get a new cat?" It's too bad that you were unaware of what was going on in the program earlier in the year, but there are a lot of options out there. You can even buy pre-k school programs online. I'm sure your child wouldn't mind spending extra time with mom. They grow up so fast. I don't want to let my little one go. Snuggle time with my older kids is limited. This could be a good opportunity for the two of you to enjoy eachother.

Heather - posted on 03/28/2011

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Read your contract. If there is no mention of a fee then you have a case, if there is mention of fees- get legal advice.

Grandma - posted on 03/28/2011

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Pre-K is kind of a luxury. Most kids don't get that. If you consider it free daycare while you work, then you have been lucky. Most families have to pay for daycare. How it was handled doesn't sound right, and for that you deserve get clarification.

Jo - posted on 03/28/2011

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That is a toughy but I would check in with your local education association or the state one for that matter and if there is nothing in writing I would challenge it. However, if you choose to fight this it might be hard on your child so you have to weigh the pros and cons of the decision. Talk to the board of education and ask why this is happening.

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that's not right! you should definitely notify anyone that will listen and ask other parents if they want to start an action - are you sure you weren't always suppose to pay up front? check this out because it sounds like it would effect everyone at the school...

Trish - posted on 03/28/2011

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I can't imagine they can ask for money without a formal letter even stating the change to ALL parents, especially not you. Have you talked to other parents? That would be my first step, my second would be with the Superindendant with or without my personal attorney to figure out why you are being targeted with no warning. Good Luck and Kudos to you for putting your children first and going out of your way to do something awesome for them!

Jacquelyn - posted on 03/28/2011

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That sucks. I feel for you. I was told my daughter was too smart for public school and they needed that space for someone really needy of it so I had to put my child in private school. I am so sorry to hear that they are doing this to you and won't allow your child to finish the year. Apparently no child left behind doesnt apply to their school. They could have at least gave you some advance notice. Have you talked to the administration or superintendent of schools and see if they will at least allow your child to finish. School is almost over for the year and I don't see the harm.

Robin - posted on 03/28/2011

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my kids are home schooled due to my son's asthma. They were in public school but I do not believe that all children learn at the same pace and style. If I were you I would speak with someone on the board I would also look into home schooling if that would be something of interest to you.

Leandra - posted on 03/28/2011

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Wow1, Did they say why they are going to charge now? Are they no longer receiving money from the lottery? If they are not receiving money from the state you may not have many options. If they are then you should be able to protest. Call someone from the state education dept

Christina - posted on 03/28/2011

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I think was you should evaluate is how long is that 100 miles taking you, how much gas are you spending? There are many many wonderful prek at home things you can do. Saves money, time and gas and he gets more mommy time. The kids are pushed into school and out of the nest soon enough. As for the school if they are lottery funded I would contact your state officials if that changed then why are they not funded that way anymore? Have a special at home with friends celebration like a birth party but make it a graduation party. Go to the dollar store get one of the crowns decorate it and have some fun. I understand your concern but if there was no contract at the beginning of school and they had to change the policy they may have lost their funding. It is sad that overall education had taken a back seat to many states our included.

Dona - posted on 03/28/2011

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Dear BJ - I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Pre-K in the public schools is funded by national grants, not State money, and if you hear much on the news lately, you'll know that our beloved Govenor turned down the national funding. If you do not qualify for Pre-k in your county (must be low income or educationally low) you might try to find your Work-Source group run by the county and see if you qualify for county funded help. This is qualified for based on your work or school status. Also, many churches provide high-quality care on sliding scale basis (you pay less if you earn less) and have scholarship programs as well. Good luck, and God Bless ! D LeBlanc

Tita - posted on 03/28/2011

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I am sure something can be done. Try asking help from some people you know nearby and hope for the best.

Anna - posted on 03/28/2011

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To my knowledge, Pre-K is not part of No Child Left Behind, therefore they are not mandated to follow the same rules. The way they handled this was clearly wrong, but it's not illegal. I am sorry you have to go through this~clearly you want the best for your child, and they do not share that same vision.

Leanne - posted on 03/28/2011

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Whatever happens, if Friday is the last day. Send in cupcakes and favors and make it his special "graduation" day. Tell him he was so great, he get's to start summer early. Make it is very special day for him and continue the celebration at home that night. Instead of giving the school $1000, give you entire family and him a special treat. He will remember that more than anything else and HE WILL BE FINE.

Good Luck!!!

Stevee - posted on 03/28/2011

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I am not sure what to say. It is a lottery here as well.And if it is a public school,I am not sure how they can do this.

Linda - posted on 03/28/2011

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You're better off not sending them to the indoctrination centers of public school (and most private). Try working out home-schooling. It's worth it no matter what the sacrifice, and not as difficult as you may think. Saves tons of money, too. Just learning as they experience life with you, learning with an actual purpose, will give them a better education and more motivation to learn instead of "school burn-out". Kids will learn and remember what they're interested in at any given time and will forget anything they're force-fed...except the indoctrination part 'cause they don't realize they are being taught those things. Don't forget, public schools are govt-controlled. They are taught to be good robots that can be controlled by the "authorities" and "fitting in" instead of being the individual God created. I home-schooled 7 and they all did well in college and aren't afraid to be themselves and think for themselves. And I didn't do everything "right" either.

Meg - posted on 03/28/2011

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Unfortunately they can. If you do not attend the school district in which you reside, you must pay for your child to attend that school. I think you can fight this though, if you did not sign any contracts with the school. Have you considered a Christian/Private School for your children. Most Christian Schools are non-denominational. They also have scholarships that you can apply for to help with tuition costs. Also, because of the structure, they don't have as many disiplinary problems as public schools and can focus on accademics more throughout the day. You say your child is in prek. I would not worry about him not finishing out the school year. Actually, your child does not even need to go to Kindergarden. You can have them tested and you could teach them at home until first grade starts. That will give you time to save up for tuition. Good Luck, God Bless.

Rita - posted on 03/28/2011

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If Pre-K is important to you. I would just pay it b/c you are not going to get any education any cheaper than that at a private Pre-K program. I was paying $100/week. For my son's care in Pre-K.

Teresa - posted on 03/28/2011

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Our county only offers preK at a few schools and those slots are "head start" for low income families. We don't qualify so we either have no preK or we pay for private. Right now we do 3 1/2 days a week at a private school for $530 a month. We've had to make some sacrifices, especially since we are adopting baby #2 in a month or so, but it was doable for us. I never went to preschool and did ok. We really did it for our son because he needed to learn to sit still in a group setting. He's a very spirited child! I think its only an issue and unfair because you didn't know about it from the beginning. Maybe they will prorate the rest of the year that they did make you aware of the fees. If they did that AND offer you a payment plan you might be able to do it until the end of the school year.

There are great books out there in teacher's supply stores that can help you keep up his education at home. This is what we do since most of the kid's at our son's school are there 5 full days a week. They really get total immersion while our son gets much less so we wanted to keep it going at home.

Good luck.

Becky - posted on 03/28/2011

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Taxes you pay are not going to that County therefore they charge you tuition. Not sure why they sprung this on you in the middle. If they wanted to be somewhat fair they should prorate the cost for the remainder of the year. Good luck. PreK is not funded in my county so I pay $95/ month for 8-11 twice a week.

Mikila - posted on 03/28/2011

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Regarding pre-k, there are no rights to an education unless
Your child has special needs. The other issue is that you are out of district.
Depending on where you live, if you send your child to a school outside your district, you either pay or return to your own district. They can enforce this because of tax issues. Talk to the school board and see if they will help you. Good luck.

Vonnie - posted on 03/28/2011

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B. J. Where do you live? Children attending pre-k programs are overrated in my opinion. I teach underprivileged 3 & 4 yr. olds. I think that children are expected to know too much when getting ready to attend kindergarten. Just read to your son, play games with him. Let him play with play dough and make the letters of the alphabet. Have him trace the letters in sand or salt. If he feels the shape of the letter and repeats the letter name while doing this his mind will absorb the information better. Most children at this young age learn more quickly through tactile experiences. I also think that socialization of small children is not as important as some experts think. Children will learn to socialize just fine. Children are not developmentally ready to share until about 5 yrs. old, but we all push them sooner. Your son will be just fine. Let him be a preschooler, and his success in school will take care of it self. Hope you find this encouraging and helpful.Blessings.

Rebecca - posted on 03/27/2011

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The only federally funded pre-k programs are headstart and state preschools, or special ed and for the first two, you have to financially qualify. For the last, your child has to have special needs. I could see them starting to charge tuition, but don't see how they could legally ask for back pay. Unfortunately, unless you are very poor, preschool is not provided by the public education system.

Pansy - posted on 03/27/2011

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When was the $1000. suppose to have been paid? That is a very reasonable price for "out of area" kids. AND, they offered you a payment plan? They are being very reasonable as far as I know, but I don't know where you are. Our children are worth our ALL!

Lucy - posted on 03/27/2011

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B. J., this is ridiculous. Contact the school board, and the superintendent but before you do that, consult an attorney. You may have rights you don't know about and an attorney can help you with this. It seems like a kind of bait and switch scam to me...sort of like saying, "Here, free school." and when you get your child enrolled and he's doing well, having fun, made friends so that separation will be painful, "Oh, we lied, you have to pay now." Sorry but that just sounds illegal and you should investigate just what is going on here. You may even be eligible for damages if you sue. I would certainly check it out. If they're doing it to you, they'll continue doing it to others. I'd also smear this info all over your Facebook page, daily. Let the world know how crummy these folks are.

Sally - posted on 03/27/2011

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Hey l know that feeling,school only seems to be for the rich,if your child not good or learn things differently tuff.l think it suck big time.We in australia have stupid system.If your kid not average you get left behind and send home.like l dont have enough to do.its like they dont care!

Amber - posted on 03/27/2011

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I would think you should talk to the board and see what is really going on.That isn't right and before they just blurt out that you owe them anything, they should hand you a paper explaining why they are changing it. It is unfair for your child to have to deal with all this. I hope this helps.

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