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Henry Co. family overwhelmed with hundreds in summer school fees

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Families with children struggling in classrooms may find themselves paying hundreds of dollars to recover from one bad grade.

Sarah Stephens, a parent with three kids in Henry County School District, said her two oldest sons were likely candidates for summer school. Like many students, her boys struggled to adjust to virtual – then in-person – learning during the pandemic.

While she knows her kids need to make up courses, but doesn’t know how she’ll front the bill.

“It would be $600 to $700,” said Stephens. “We only have one income coming in, three children, and we have to deal with inflation.”

Credit recovery programs let students make up a class they previously failed. According to the Henry County School District website, a full-course credit through the credit recovery program is $260 per student. A half course is $130. Paying for credit recovery programs isn’t new in Henry County, but Stephens says the district should take notes from other Atlanta-area districts and reevaluate fees.

“There are several places here in Georgia doing summer school for free, but Henry County is not one of them,” she explained.

Atlanta Public Schools, Fulton County School District, and DeKalb County School District offer free credit recovery courses for students.

Gwinnett County will pay for up to two summer school classes per student.

Cobb County will pay for one course credit per student Summer 2022. The district previously paid for two-course credits per student in Summer 2021.

Coweta County students will pay $50 per course.

“If you’re not going to make it free, make it more accommodating than a price of $135 because we’re struggling and we need help,” said Stephens. “Our kids shouldn’t have to pay that horrible price to bounce back from these two horrible years.”

Henry County summer school consists of two-week virtual courses without a teacher. Stephens said after the bumpy reversal to-and-from virtual learning, district leaders should cut families some slack.

“A little compassion would go so much further than where it is now,” said Stephens.

CBS46 reached out to the Henry County School District for comment. This story will be updated once the district responds.