RENO, NV (KOLO) There are 1500 students at Galena High School
Chances are every one of them has been asked to pay a fee of one form, or another.
“ID, and what was it, the planner? It was $6,” says Brey Yahuaca, a sophomore at Galena.
“Well I have to pay my art (culinary) and that's $50. But that is because we have to help them with the food,” says Alejandra Sanchez who graduates next June
Yefry Martinez a junior at Galena says he takes several courses that have fees attached.
“I think construction was $40 and then human anatomy which was like $30,” he says.
While this is a public education, public funding hasn't kept up with the essential educational tools.
Here in the construction classroom, fees need to be paid to supply the materials to learn.
The same goes for metal shop.
There's a lab fee for biology.
One of the biggest expenses is an Advanced Placement Class.
The fees run $90.00 per class, with some students taking six classes at a time.
”$540 just in tests,” says Galena Principal Jay Salter.
Salter says the fees can be a definite barrier to learning for some students.
The district has set up a committee called Equitable Access.
The group meets to discuss fees and ways to pay for them when a student can't.
Salter is a member of that group.
He says for his school the first stop is the parent teacher organization.
“And our PTO goes out and works with our community partners to make sure we have access to, like I said, academics and athletics for everybody,” he says.
Salter says last year they helped students pay for fees to the tune of $20,000.
Accentuating the old adage, "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
Salter says a student could go through high school with paying very little in fees.
But these days that would be very uncommon.