Education Minister Ruel Reid says Seaforth High School in St. Thomas is breaching government guidelines by demanding that parents pay a $3,000 contribution, or lose the benefit of free tuition.
The demand is made in a letter dated June 23, 2016, instructing parents to bring the letter along with the 3-thousand dollar fee to register on their assigned day this week.
The letter also outlines a series of other fees, totaling from a minimum of $10,250 for Grade 8 students to $14,250 for students in Grade 11.
The letter describes these as “required user fees”.
It goes on to say that failure to report for registration will result in the child not being covered under the government’s free tuition scheme, because only the names of those registered will be submitted to the Ministry.
However, the Education Minister told Nationwide News today, that this is a complete breach of government policy.
Minister Reid says the school will have to withdraw the letter.
A document released by the Education Minister today shows that Seaforth High is budgeted to receive an allocation of over $29-million from the government this year.
This includes $21-million for tuition, $1-million for technical equipment, and $2.4-million for staffing support.
Several attempts to contact a representative of the school today were unsuccessful.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced in Parliament yesterday that government is moving to make it illegal for any high school student to be denied an education.