From year to year, parents bring their money to schools, sometimes even without understanding what for, simply because it’s a common practice. At the same time, a school has the right to collect charges only for a limited set of additional educational services and only after signing the corresponding agreement. We invite you to enjoy a small victory over the usual but illegal foundations and clarify what exactly parents do not have to pay for.
1) Classes in subjects included in the educational standard
According to statistics, most violations at schools are associated with paid lessons. Pedagogues put parents in such conditions that it is easier for them to hire a good paper writer than to try to educate their own children. Some teachers purposefully underestimate the marks so that students have to come to the additional classes and bring money.
In fact, the educators have no right to conduct paid lessons in the subjects included in the school standard. Moms and dads should not pay for extra training, for example, in mathematics before the final test.
A common situation: a pedagogue conducts additional lessons “for his people” and proposes a “low price”. Parents are not confused by the lack of an official agreement, payment receipts, and most importantly, the very need for additional classes. To avoid prejudice against the child, they are willing to pay for useless lessons and do not resent out loud.
Once again: only those classes that are beyond the compulsory program can be paid. Simply put, those which are not in the schedule, or for the visit to which a family gave written consent by filling out an agreement on providing additional educational services.
2) Protection of the school
The educational institution must ensure the safety and security of children when they are within its walls. In reality, at the first meeting, parents are asked if there is a need for guard services. The answer is obvious: yes. But often the city budget is not able to allocate the needed amount to pay for security agency services, and since parents are interested in them, this function falls on their shoulders by default.
As a result, a vicious practice is created, in which a school sometimes does not even try to fulfill its legitimate duties and immediately demands parents to save the situation. Moms and dads who are not familiar with the law do not even think about their own rights and school duties.
3) Textbooks and teaching aids
This point requires caution and common sense, because, taking it as an indispensable guide to action, parents risk doing so that the child will have no tools needed for work in the class.
Adults obediently buy the textbooks prescribed by teachers, and meanwhile, the supply with educational and methodological materials should be carried out at the expense of budgetary appropriations. Acquisition of educational literature at the expense of a student is justified only if the subject is included in the number of additional educational services provided on a fee basis. Teachers say that the law “does not allow to insist” on the purchase of the books recommended by them, although it is clear that this category is extremely vague. There is usually a warning in their words that a child will feel like a black sheep and will not master the educational material. As a result, law and real school practice exist in parallel universes.
Attentive cloakroom attendant, who is not only responsible for the safety of clothes but also knows their owners by name, is a rarity. The idea of a good paid wardrobe as an alternative to a bad free locker room usually appears in the minds of parents themselves, shortly after the loss of several coats or a children’s brawl in the rows with clothes.
It is unlikely that there is a decent governing council in a school which has no decent dressing room. Otherwise, we would recommend looking for a solution to common problem in the work of this organization. If the creation of a paid cloakroom is the only way out of the impasse, a free locker room must certainly remain. The duties of the parents do not include the payment for an additional working unit introduced at the request of the initiative group.
5) School equipment and repairs
Speaking of school fees, parents often mean exactly the collection of money for the purchase of new desks, class repair, IT equipment and so on. Meanwhile, the law prohibits taking fees for the services that are provided within the framework of the state program at the expense of budgetary funds.
It would seem that there is nothing more to add. Everything is transparent. But some schools, in order to legalize parental contributions, use the contract for voluntary donations. The formulation of one of the points is simply discouraging: “the contributor is obliged to transfer voluntary donations…” Having signed such a document, moms and dads agree to pay for everything: repairs, gifts to the teachers, buying chairs for a dining room, etc. At the same time, a school also has no right to force parents to sign such an agreement.