ACLU joins students’ fight against summer school fees in Prince George’s County

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools may soon find itself in a court battle over summer school fees that the ACLU says have prevented some students from graduating.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland is joining four students who are taking on the Prince George’s County school system, insisting all summer school fees be waived.

The students are appealing summer school tuition fees for required courses like English and math, with classes costing families up to $455 each. According to the ACLU, the fees are not only a burden for families, but a violation of Maryland’s constitution.

“Maryland’s Constitution promises all families a free public education for their children,” said Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland.

The ACLU is challenging the Board of Education’s policy, which states that a student cannot be denied entrance into summer school due to lack of tuition, but still requires students pay at least 75 percent of the tuition for each course.

In some cases, the ACLU said those fees have prevented students from graduating.

According to the ACLU, the school system’s general counsel had originally advised the school board to deny the appeals, but the ACLU plans to take the policy to court if it isn’t changed.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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