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Parents upset at what one school district is charging for 'child care' while students learn remotely

Parents up in arms at what school district is charging for 'child care' while students learn remotely
Posted at 11:09 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 23:09:41-04

"That's a lot of money for any household," Sunday Knoll said about what the Utica Community Schools District is charging for 'child care' that will be held in seven schools where the students will still learn remotely.

The areas used for child care will be gyms, cafeterias, and large stage areas. And the weekly tuition is $150 for each student to attend three days a week. The cost is $225 for each student to attend five days a week.

When you add it up, more than one parent said it's like a mortgage payment when they are already paying taxes for their children to be in school.

"I wish they would give us a choice," said one parent who wanted her two children to have face-to-face instruction. She said the cost to send her two children to school to learn on their laptops is just too high.

"The price is just ridiculous," she said. "You have parents that are struggling so hard to make their bills every day and then you have to come up with $1,000 to put your children at a school, in a location that is safe so they can get education from a computer. It just doesn't make sense."

Some parents we talked to said they thought they would have a choice when the district asked if they would likely send their children to school in the fall if class sizes did not change and all students and staff were required to wear masks. We're told 39% of parents said yes.

Tim McAvoy, Director of School Community Relations for Utica Community Schools, said even if only the children whose parents wanted face-to-face instruction attended, they still would not have the space to ensure social distancing.

For the child care service, McAvoy said there will only be 36 students in each of the seven schools where there will be the child care service offered for 5-year-old to 12-year-old students.

One father of two said, during the summer months, he usually has a high school student babysit his children, but during the school year, they will be unavailable because they'll be learning remotely as well.

"It's too much money for me," said Knoll. "I am choosing to stay home and make sure she gets an education."