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  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    Default How to Enroll a Child in Public School if Prior School Won't Provide Student Records

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: texas. My son is in 5th grade and has 2 months left of school. I can't afford the past due balance of his private school and they will not let him return until I do. They will also not release his transcript to public school. I lost my job and can not come up with the balance of 2k. My son needs to finish this year and Ik i will get in trouble with the police for not sending him to school. This is so awful because he will most likely automatically fail the year because i can not afford to pay the bill. He has worked so hard this year and I'm so scared. I will continue to pay towards the bill but they want all the money before they let him transfer. Do i have any rights? How can they keep him from going to school, any school, public or private? Could I possibly home school him until i can pay them? I have no idea where to get help from.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,864

    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    The trouble with private school is that your "rights" are addressed in your contract with the school. I can't read your contract from here, but you had better read it and understand it because I'm guessing that it addresses what happens when you can't pay the past due bill.

    Yes, you can home school your child provided that you meet the requirements for doing so.

    Start at:

    http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/G...ome_Schooling/

    Then google Texas Home Schooling for additional resources.

    PS: "They" aren't keeping him from public school. You are.

    How about getting help from the boy's father?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    3,028

    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    How long ago did you lose your job ? 2k is a lot of money to owe a private elementary school. When was the last time you paid them ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,213

    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    Quote Quoting Abner18
    View Post
    . Do i have any rights? How can they keep him from going to school, any school, public or private? Could I possibly home school him until i can pay them? I have no idea where to get help from.
    There are two issues here. One is the contractual agreement you have with the private school and the other is your son's right to a public education.

    I personally find it reprehensible that the private school would cause harm (possibly irreparable) over a $2K debt that you have agreed to continue to make payment on. Is that only the past due or does it include any other payments to the end of the term? Have you made an offer to agree to a payment plan in writing or just over the phone? If not in writing, do so ASAP and see if they will agree to release the transcripts.

    The second issue is your son's right to a public education and the public school districts requirement to receive the transcripts before admission. I would assume that you can prove that your son has been in private school from 1st to 5th grade and he only needs to complete the 5th grade as of now. They can test him for proficiency to see if he meets the requirements for the 5th grade. Or wait until the 6th grade.

    This from the link that Jack provided:
    The State of Texas does not award a diploma to students that are home schooled. Home-schooled students can enter public school at any time but should be aware that most districts have policies and procedures in place to assess the mastery level of courses that students in home schools have taken. The results of the assessment may be used for grade placement or award of credit or both. Students transferring from home schools should be afforded the same treatment as students transferring from unaccredited private schools. TEA recommendations on appropriate placement assessments are included in the Commissioner's Home School Policy Letter below.
    You should contact the Texas Education Agency and ask for help and guidance. The contact and phone number are at the bottom of the web page link.

    I also don't think you could get the necessary approvals, put together an education plan, and do any teaching that would matter in the next 2 months.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    23,893

    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    It is standard practice for at least private schools to refuse to transfer records until all financial records are clear. This should not come as a surprise. Other than sending the parent to collection/lawsuit, this is pretty much the only leverage the school has to get their money. Would you prefer that?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    As someone who sent a couple of their children to private school early on, I have to agree that the withholding or transcripts is about the only real leverage that a private school might have. You know this going in ... at least I did. Paying an attorney to collect a $2,000 debt would be cost prohibitive and could well result in a lot of game playing - and, thus, greatly raised tuition to pay for the delinquent debt.

    Colleges do this, too. Want to get your degree? Or, get transcripts to transfer or seek a graduate degree? Pay your bills! High schools in many states can also withhold transcripts for unpaid debts. It is not an uncommon practice.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    I am in no way suggesting that a private school should not collect what is owed under a contract. But for a $2K debt with 2 months left in the school year where the mom will agree to pay it off (perhaps with interest)? The school could take it as a "write-off" if it wanted to. It only hurts the child. I seriously doubt the school could prove any substantial damage by agreeing to a payment plan where the child withdraws.

    Besides, the child is still entitled to a public school education whether she pays or not. And the public school district has to admit the child based on his proficiency with or without the transcript.

    We are speaking about grade school here. There is no constitutional right to secondary education.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    I do sympathize with mom's plight. However, the school has debts to pay and using the debt as a "write-off" does not pay those bills. Many private schools operate on a razor thin margin as it is. Even if they did not, it is not their responsibility to take a loss every time a parent cannot pay. Really, the only leverage they have against parents who do not pay their bills is to withhold their child's transcripts. After all, she agreed to pay the tuition when she signed the contract. Making another agreement to pay off a debt she has already legally pledged to pay does not suddenly make it any more super-legal. Double-super-secret-probation does not make certain the debt will be paid. In fact, what might prevent mom from reneging on the new payment plan once the transcripts had been delivered? Absent that particular leverage, the school has nothing. It is a sad fact, but the private school has no specific obligation to that child aside from what they are contractually obligated to provide.

    And the private school is not infringing upon anyone's right to go to school. In fact, even the public school is not infringing upon that right as they have agreed to accept the child after they have made the proper assessments. The public school DOES have a vested interest in properly assessing the child and placing them in the proper academic environment as this is in the child's best interest. To that end, without proper transcripts they would have to assess the child through whatever process they have set up. And, given that there are probably no more than ten weeks left in school, this is not a likely prospect and it may well be that the child might have to take summer programs or repeat some or all of their current grade year. Yes, that sucks, and I'd be miffed if I was the parent here, too. Though, if I was running into a financial problem I would have withdrawn my student before I owed too much money, and I would have transferred the child to public school immediately.

    This is not the fault of the private school, and to blame them is to level blame on the wrong party.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    You can generally get a child provisionally enrolled in school, pending the transmission of records from one school to another. Once the child is enrolled, the bureaucracy tends to move slowly (which favors the child). I know of a case, not from your state, in which a parent misrepresented to a public school that her child had completed first grade in a private school (she was enrolled young, and the school's recommendation was that she repeat first grade); she kept promising to get the public school records of the child's completion of first grade and, before the bureaucracy figured out that she was gaming the system, she had completed the school year and proceeded into third grade on that basis.

    Further, in Texas,
    A school district or open-enrollment charter school may not prohibit a student from attending school pending receipt of transcripts or records from the school district the student previously attended. Additionally, the failure of a prior district or the person enrolling the student to provide identification or school records under 25.002 does not constitute grounds for refusing to admit an eligible student.

  10. #10
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    California
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    Default Re: I Can't Afford Private School Bill and They Won't Release Records for Public Tran

    Though, I imagine it might impede the child's ability to promote or move on, especially if they have not been shown to have achieved the necessary requirements for promotion. Though, it seems that most states are (sadly) more about social promotions than academic, so it may not really matter.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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