Loudoun Students Have To Cover Test Fees

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Chris Hondros/Newsmakers

    School districts in Northern Virginia are struggling to balance their budgets for the second straight year.

    One cut in Loudoun County is starting to hit home for many students and parents.

    Chris Mijares is a senior at Potomac Falls High School in Sterling.  He's in three AP, or Advanced Placement, classes meaning he'll probably take three AP exams this spring to try to earn college credit for his work.

    Mijares is worried.

    "I feel sorry for the kids who take, like, 5 APs," he said.

    Mijares isn't worried about the tests themselves just yet. He's worried about the $86 fee for each one. For the first time Loudoun County schools are making students foot the bill.

    Mijares said he thinks that may lead to fewer students signing up for AP classes.

    "Of course its going to stop some people," he said."Its like, 'Oh, but I can't pay $86 for this test.'"

    School Board member John Stevens pointed out that the tests are optional, and the change saves the district a couple of million dollars.

    "For the time being, were going to focus on our core educational mission, and that means letting go of some things that in the past we could have afforded to do," Stevens said.

    Montgomery County, in Maryland, doesn't cover AP testing fees either. Fairfax County's superintendent has proposed his district stop covering the fees next year.

    Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

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