West Monroe High School parents slammed with school fees

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Some West Monroe parents say this new school year is starting off more expensive than expected. Parents are outraged after learning of higher school fees.

West Monroe High School

Moms Tara Ambrose says it is like paying twice since parents and residents already pay for public schooling through taxes. She has two students attending West Monroe High School.

"What's happening with [the money], because this is something that happens every year," she said.

Ambrose said teachers are slamming her with more fees.

- $30 School Fee
- $25 Talented Art Fee
- $10 Chemistry Fee
- $20 Anatomy Fee
- $5 English Fee

West Monroe High School Principal Shelby Ainsworth said they "charge school fees for several different subject areas." He said it is something the school has done for years. Ainsworth said the fees are charged and collected by teachers.

Ambrose said that makes her feel uneasy."Who do I make the check payable to? Well, they want cash," she said.

Ainsworth says they do advise the teachers to keep the charges reasonable. He says the resources teachers get "It's not enough. It's not sufficient enough for them to cover all that."

Ainsworth says teachers use the money to buy extra material for their classroom or curriculum for students to use.

Ambrose said that leaves them wondering if the materials are not what happens with the money. "They don't come back at the end of the year and give us refunds for this money," she said.

Another concern for Ambrose is that not every family can afford to dish out extra money.

"Sometimes it takes payments to be able to do that," Ainsworth said. He says the school does make sure the payments are collected from all students to be fair.

"First of all trust us. Trust public education," Ainsworth said. "We want them to buy in and believe it also."

Parents say they want to know exactly where the money is going for each class.

"It concerns me as a parent when is it going to stop," she said.

Ouachita Parish School superintendent says the charges vary for each school.