Education: How Free Is Free?

Americans like to believe that the U.S. public high school is free. Not so, says Principal Willard Hawkins of Maryland's Bel Air Junior-Senior High School, in a report in the current Nation's Schools. Aside from taxes, the average parent must shell out money all through the year:

¶ Four out of ten of the Maryland schools in Hawkins' report charge pupils an "activity fee" that may amount to as much as $10 a year.

¶ Almost half the schools charge ''class dues" up to $6.

¶ Some schools assess their pupils as much as $3.50 for the school newspaper, as much as $4.50...

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