Parents in Orange Unified School District (Orange County, CA) received a letter at the beginning of the 2011 school year requesting a $40 donation for every day that they keep their child home from school. This is to help make up for the $5.5 million that the school ‘loses’ annually, due to student absence. Five months after beginning the program, the school had collected $920.00.
The school apparently sees this program as a public service, because parents report feeling guilty for allowing their children to skip school for things like doctor’s appointments and ski trips.
“It’s a way to clear your conscious. It’s not a mandatory fee,” says Board Member Mark Wayland. (“We can discuss the irony of that comment later,” says my Inner Grammar Girl)
What do you think? Should parents be requested to pay a fee every time they keep their child home from school?