Keep summer school free in 2023

Summer+school+should+be+free%2C+especially+given+that+many+students+from+schools+with+higher+FARMS+rate+have+more+difficulty+paying+the+fees.

Ashley Huynh

Summer school should be free, especially given that many students from schools with higher FARMS rate have more difficulty paying the fees.

Montgomery County Public Schools has not announced whether or not summer school will be free this coming summer after being free for the last couple of years. The Current urges MCPS to keep summer school free–if not for everyone, then at least for students who attend schools with high FARMS rates.

Keeping summer school as a free resource for students is crucial for students who cannot afford to pay for summer school. Especially for students who need to make up a class, not having access to summer school significantly limits their options when they are forced to make up their credits during the school day. This can affect their track to graduation and, especially at schools with high FARMS rates, their ability to work and earn much-needed money for their families. 

While charging all students for summer school is equal, it is far from equitable.

A student that attends a school with a lower FARMS rate such as Walt Whitman or Churchill is more likely to have the ability to pay for summer school as opposed to a student who attends Watkins Mill or Gaithersburg. This means that wealthier students are able to get ahead and stay ahead and poorer students continue to widen the achievement gap because they lack the resources to catch up.

We urge MCPS to consider students who lack the financial ability to pay for crucial resources that can affect their ability to graduate and give all students a fair chance at succeeding regardless of their family income level.

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