CLASS DISMISSED: Budget cuts affecting public testing

By: Jasmyn Elliott/Columnist

As our nation’s education institution tightens its purse strings, the financial strain is starting to hit high school students and their parents in their own wallets.

Jasmyn Elliott / Columnist

Jasmyn Elliott / Columnist

Public education is becoming more of an abstract concept as funding is being cut.

At the rate we are going, even a basic education will become less of a right and more of a luxury.

According to a report in The New York Times, budget cuts toward advance placement classes is now resulting in students having to pay their own way through AP testing. This is a burden, especially for  students who come from low-income families.

According to the report, students “will have to pay $15 for each of the first three exams they take, and $53 per exam for any beyond that,” thus causing students to sacrifice a full AP class load. This will further affect their college costs, as these students will pass fewer AP tests that would have given them college credit.

Instead of absolving them from having to take certain classes, which would have ultimately reduced their college costs, low-income AP students will have to face the strain of college costs with little to no relief.

This may seem like a so-called “first world problem,” but these budget cuts affect 29,000 low-income AP students who may miss out on the opportunity to acquire college credits.

This inevitably leads to a rise in their college costs, which are already difficult to manage with nationwide cuts to financial aid.

Furthermore, while some districts are willing and able to eat the rising costs, others are unable to do so, once again leaving low-income students at a disadvantage in accessing AP classes and college credit.

This trend of cutting education funds further disenfranchises otherwise qualified students from their fair shot at a college education, thus perpetuating institutional discrimination against the poor.

I find it difficult to visualize equal access to education when even high school students have to come out of pocket to make strides in their education.

This is normally the point when I propose some solution that would help these students and their parents come out on top, but I don’t have one.

Unfortunately, these students will have to make some early sacrifices until funding for public education increases, or at least becomes enough so these tests are subsidized once again.

Our public education is supposed to set us apart from developing nations, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, who must pay out of pocket to give their children a basic education, much to the chagrin of their underprivileged citizens.

We may have to join the ranks of these ones if we continue to foot students and their parents with the bill.

“Class Dismissed” is a weekly column critiquing education in America. Email

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