Give FCPS students the free test they were promised

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The Make a Difference Club demands FCPS reverse its decision to make advance placement students pay for their own IB and AP exams. It is our stance that this policy is financially inconsiderate and irresponsible. Students and their families are expected to pay $114 per IB Test and $93 dollars per AP test. Historically, students did not have to shoulder the burden of paying for these exams. The school district paid for them. This year, however, due to the name changing of J.EB. Stuart High School, the school district finds itself at a financial disadvantage. Instead of going to the Superintendent to resolve the issue, they are putting the onus on students already bogged down with college application and standardized testing fees! The Make a Difference Club does not believe that FCPS should exploit their students to solve financial issues the school board is responsible for.

During freshman year, students were encouraged to pursue the IB Diploma or AP scholar programs. Though nervous about pursuing such rigorous course loads, our counselors informed the candidates the college credits would be free. Cost played an integral role in deciding to pursue the diploma. Four years later, we are being informed that FCPS can only pay for a certain number of exams. This number is inclusive of test taken in the past.

Given the price of AP and IB exams, a freshman could easily rack up to over a thousand dollars in testing fees. Thereby dissuading all but the wealthier students from taking part in on a very blatant level, this creates a caste system capable of damaging the cohesive fabric of our school. The financial burden on students is exacerbated once senior dues, pictures, applications, and a host of other senior activities are taken into account. The new FCPS plan is also inflexible in that students are not given the option to pay for less expensive tests. For example, if a student took AP Government in the past, but decided it wasn’t for them and switched to IB, that student would have to pay for the more expensive IB test. Bottom line, this action seems to be the bureaucratic response to the inability to properly align responsibilities to the appropriate parties.

The Make a Difference Club is asking support as we demand justice for these ill-advised, unfortunate students. Don’t let it become commonplace for students to shoulder the burden of mismanagement.



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