Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are among the most prestigious public schools in all of North Carolina. Accompanying the high praise is a high price tag.
Over the last decade, schools have increasingly moved away from traditional forms of teaching and moved towards technology-based teaching; this has brought, in turn, an increase in the cost of attending public school. Since a large portion of teaching is done via technology, the majority of modern-day homework is assigned online. This requires students to have internet access and a computer or some sort of mobile device at home. While the cost burden of internet and mobile devices differs from family to family, there is no denying that it is an added expense which previous decades of public school students did not have to consider.
The costs of standardized aptitude tests, such as the ACT and SAT, are also steadily increasing. While both cost somewhere between $40 and $50, most students take them multiple times in order to ensure they are submitting the best score possible to universities — which means students who can only afford to take these tests once are often at a disadvantage. There are also external factors to consider such as SAT and ACT prep, which range in price from $95 to $200 per hour, again putting students who cannot afford these preparations at a disadvantage.
The American education system invests nearly $1.7 billion in standardized testing annually, yet students are still paying an average of $650 for school supplies over the course of a given school year, and college tuition is constantly increasing. These are all examples of how personal gain is prioritized over collective success.
Although public schools are marketed as a form of “free” education, the more advanced education becomes, the less free it really is. The divide between well-funded schools and under-funded schools is constantly increasing; where the former is able to provide students with more institutionalized assistance, the latter struggles to provide students with the most basic forms of support.