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Admittedly, FWAFA has charged blanket activity fees since the school was awarded it’s charter in 2001. QUOTE: “Also, as I mentioned, the fees have been in place since we opened in 2001 without incident…” Without incident? If no one knew the fees were illegal, what incident would one expect and since when did getting away with something illegal for more than a decade create precedence for continuing to do so after being caught? Even stranger, QUOTE: “In general, most families feel it is an important part of their experience and see it as a terrific value…”
On April 29th, 2014, after the Texas Education Agency became aware that illegal fees were being charged again, a letter was sent to FWAFA administration demanding that the school inform the parents of the unauthorized fees and plan for providing a full refund. QUOTE: “The Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts must notify parents of the students enrolled in the charter of the charter’s unauthorized requirement concerning blanket activity fee…” QUOTE: “The school shall cease and desist from any required collection of any fees that are still outstanding for this school year, and shall make a plan for the return of all fees collected this year…”
In the document submitted to the Texas Education Agency, FWAFA administration made the following statement. QUOTE: “The School has not willfully or intentionally collected an unlawful fee…” QUOTE: “We recognized that the blanket fee, while in theory attempted to comply with the law, was not in line with the letter of it as defined.” QUOTE: “From my conversation with you, I did not understand that the TEA had the expectation we would cease to collect fees as our common practice while developing a new policy, nor that it was expected to be in place for the 2013-2014 school year…”
Clearly a portion of the student body has been paying for extracurricular activities they didn’t participate in. The proof being that the parents of students who FWAFA can’t legitimately charge for anything are getting a full refund. Meanwhile parents of students who were involved with extracurricular activities (shows, trips, tours, after school classes, etc…) are being offered either a partial refund or no refund at all (depending on what extracurricular activities a student was involved in). The fact that FWAFA is withholding money from parents of students who were involved in extracurricular activities but had no idea they were going to be charged a la carte retroactively for the 2013 / 2014 school year is a statement to their true motives. If those parents had known what the actual costs were going to be, they may have made different decisions about which extra curricular activities their child participated in. It must be satisfying to make up activity fees after the fact that lets you hold on to illegally collected money you benefit directly from. A clear conflict of interest.
Conflict of Interest “COI” explained.
Don’t pay fees for things that are related to getting a grade or related in any way to required curriculum. The Texas Education Agency provides complete funding for curriculum related operations. This is why a school can’t charge fees for curriculum related activities. Because they’re covered already. Call the Texas Education Agency if you want proof. When asked to pay any fee, get a itemized receipt! Seriously! If you don’t have a choice in the matter and/or it’s related to class / getting a grade, don’t pay it! It’s NOT LEGAL.
All documents referred to and quoted above are offered as complete documents on this site. Visitors are strongly encouraged to read them.
This site is educational in nature and exists for students, parents and teachers. Past, present and future.