Not in Alberta! Maybe I am overreacting … Maybe I am not …
When I realized (in January) that despite my best efforts I still did not have a job and could not afford to pay Kyia’s school fees, which I had been putting of in the hopes that I would find a job and be able to pay them, I requested a “Fee Waiver” from The Calgary Board of Education (CBE). This was VERY hard for me. Between my pride and my anxiety, it made me cry that I had to “ask for help”. But there is no possible way for me to afford the nearly $400 they want for school fees. YES you read that right. $400 fucking dollars per year (PLUS the hundreds they want you to pay for field trips, and additional school activities throughout the year) for a “FREE” education. I understand that some SMALL fees (Small=$25-$50 MAX) may be acceptable but $400+ is just outrageous!! This is Canada for fuck sake. How in the fuck does CBE justify approx $400 they say noon super vision, transportation, school supplies etc….
1. My child does not get supervised at noon!! She is in grade 8 and leaves the school grounds most days. And seriously!! These pussy-ass fucking teachers who BARELY even teach kids any more can’t SHARE lunch supervision?? I respect teachers, don’t get me wrong…well I used to…but these days it seems the teachers need to be coddled and babied. They don’t teach our children the things they need. They baby them by “passing” everyone. They rarely discipline (I don’t mean straps, just detention or even a goddamn scolding!). And they cut out essential core studies … like Cursive and multiplication tables!!! The teachers need to “man-the-fuck-up” and TEACH our kids! …oh I am going off topic … The teachers are paid for their day in their salaries … They should NOT get extra to monitor lunch hours. This should simply be mandatory shared tasks INCLUDED IN THEIR FUCKING JOB!!!!
2. Transportation … I cannot bitch much about this one really… Because we live in a different school zone, my daughter does not take school buses. We chose to not send her to the school in our zone so I am not “charged” this (additional $335) fee and I buy her a monthly transit pass to get to school. However … I believe the rate for school bus transit is a bit much … I have not fully researched all of the other provinces, but I do KNOW that the majority of the provinces do not have this fee!! (Or ANY of these overpriced fees!)
3. School supplies … Oh this one makes my blood boil!! I BUY HER SCHOOL SUPPLIES!! The BUDGET Buys teacher supplies. What the actual fuck is this bullshit!! I go out and spend $100 ish dollars on the LIST that the CBE gives out for instructional supplies and then they try to charge me (Approx $150)for more!! You don’t pay … they THREATEN YOU!!! New Brunswick School fees $25 and buy your own school supplies OR $35 School supplies INCLUDED (NO transportation fee, NO supervision fee, NO Bullshit!!). If you don’t pay, you don’t get threatened, you just don’t get the school planner. FUCK YOU CBE!!! FUCK YOU!!! Greedy fucking dickface CBE!! Again, FUCK YOU!
Anyhoo, Back to the “Fee Waiver”, I was apparently never approved…Yesterday I received an email from the CBE basically threatening me. Pay or we will send you to collections!! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!! I sent an email stating that I applied for fee waiver months ago…ATTACHING the original email and including a snippit from their webpage showing that I had applied. The message they sent back was that I need a “Child Health Benefits card”. Um. No. No I fucking don’t! I am not going to the goddamned government begging for fucking anything. It is bad enough that I am back on the dreadful EI. I will not go to them for ANYTHING (unless absolutely necessary… like EI because work is scarce and I need fricking money…also I paid into that shit). So I told them that (in a nicer way) I simply said, “I do not need nor want a benefits card. You have my financial information. That is all you need. They came back with basically a too bad, that is our policy. You have to go to Alberta Works and basically apply to be low-income and get that Child Health Benefits Card. Are you fucking kidding me!!! I lost it. I literally walked away from the computer and left my reply until this morning. Which was still kind of nasty…because I am still PISSED So Here is what I sent off:
“To whom it may concern,
I have submitted a fee waiver and have forwarded my EI income information already- MONTHS ago!! You threaten to send me to collections KNOWING that I can NOT afford to pay these fees. I am disgusted that you will NOT approve the fee waiver just because I am not on social assistance/Welfare?! I am on EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE! I have ALREADY stated this! I do NOT need nor want a health benefits card and there is NO reason that I should be forced to get some letter calling/labeling me “low-income” or forced to get this health card thing. YOU have my financial information!! Why do you want to embarrass, belittle and STRESS people and families by forcing them to announce to the world that they are poor? I have enough stress and anxiety in my life, I sure as heck do not need The Calgary School Board adding to it! I have shared my financial woes with you, yet you want me to go to a multitude of others announcing my struggles. This process is despicable. This process is WRONG. I have sent you the information and there is no reason for you to force me to embarrass and stress myself further. I am on EI. I make LESS than 2000 per month. My rent, bills and food expenses meet and sometimes exceed that amount. Last year I made under $40,000 and the ONLY reason it was that “high” is because I did work for 6 months of the year…but still technically below the poverty line! Unfortunately I was let go in early October, JUST after an emergency trip to NB (that I am STILL trying to pay off!) leaving me unemployed and BROKE. I expect The Calgary School Board (or ANY school board for that matter) to be a bit more respectful and understanding to people in these situations. When YOU are provided with sufficient financial information to approve a family for a fee waiver. JUST DO IT! Don’t send them to the government agencies. Don’t send them to the school. Don’t force this embarrassment onto them. And for God sake do NOT Threaten them!!! Just take that information and make the darn approval. We live in CANADA. Education is supposed to be FREE!!!! Maybe it is my pride talking or maybe it is my social anxiety, It does not matter, DO not force people into uncomfortable situations. Period. Now please look into this. Thank you.”
Too much? Should I be this Mad? Am I over-reacting? I don’t think so. Why? …
Education is MANDATORY in Canada. Education is a RIGHT in Canada. Education is FREE in Canada. FREE you fucking idiots. FREE. Not $400 dollars or we will send you to collections. FREE!
So Now I apparently have to go to the principal of my daughters school and beg them to approve the waiver “in house” …what a fucking hassle for this free education. Did I mention…
FUCK YOU CBE and FUCK YOU ALBERTA EDUCATION!!!