Whitney Elementary School asks parents to pay for A/C

October 25, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The principal at Whitney Elementary School on the city's South Side has asked parents to pay a fee to cover the cost of air-conditioning the Track E school in the city's Little Village neighborhood.

"It was a shock. I mean how do you expect us to pay for air-conditioning? I mean it's fine that we're in a low income neighborhood - but that doesn't mean that we're not knowledgeable about what our rights are," Elizabeth Nevarez said.

The fees were approved by the Local School Council (LSC): $20 for one child, $35 for two children and $45 for three children enrolled at the school.

"They pretty much presented it as you have no choice. It's kind of like the state; the state raises taxes and you have to pay it," Christina Bracamontes, parent, said.

Chicago Public School officials say that's not the case. They say the LSC can set fees, but they are voluntary. CPS is preparing another letter for parents explaining that the fees are not mandatory- and anyone who paid them without understanding that can get their money back.

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