On Monday, Feb. 11, a school board meeting was held at Oswego High School to vote on whether or not there will be changes made to the school’s budget plan for the upcoming years. Some of the ideas proposed were raising the price of student parking passes, eliminating AVID (a program dedicated to preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities), and adding an additional charge to any course students choose to take past the graduation requirements. Students are concerned for their future education and how these changes might play a role in their learning experience.
Over the past couple of years, the price of parking passes have increased from $25 a semester to $50. Now, the price is in talks of being raised to $100 per semester. This is something that the district labels as having “minimal impact” on the students, but that, simply, is not true.
“Honestly, [that price] is way too high for one semester. People think that the traffic in the gravel lot is bad now, just wait until they increase the price for parking passes,” junior Amarri Atkins said.
Although parking passes are still in the works of a price increase, many students were relieved after the board meeting that Monday, where it was decided that eliminating AVID was not going to happen. The fact that AVID was even considered on the chopping block frightened students invested in the program.
“I felt terrible [upon finding out that AVID was considered to be eliminated]. I knew that the incoming freshman wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience something great,” senior Nathalia Flores said.
AVID seems to be highly underestimated by the public. Some feel it doesn’t have any impact on the students, while students in the class think otherwise.
“Many people think that AVID is just for college things, but it’s so much more. It helps build you academically and emotionally,” Flores said.
Another idea that was proposed was adding on a $225 fee for any course students choose to take past the graduation requirements. This means if a student wants to take an extra core or elective class, they will have to pay an additional fee.
“This may make students feel as if they are limited to a certain class because many [students] may avoid taking classes that are high priced and that may cause any type of financial burden for their family,” junior Nequoias Brown said.
Adding the fee could be a block for students who want to take more classes linked directly to a career that they want to study in the future or even students on the honors track. This fee may compromise the district’s mission statement, “in partnership with our families and communities, Community Unit School District 308 will educate all students to reach their highest potential.”
“We are telling our students that our goal is the minimum, and that it will cost their family more money to go beyond that,” AP and honors biology teacher Ms. Pamela Phelps said.
While some potential ideas were denied, such as the idea of eliminating AVID, some are still in progress, like bumping up the fee of parking passes. The fight will continue on March 11, when the board is scheduled to meet again.