Damaged books will cost students

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The Selma TImes-Journal

Every year the Selma City School System spends thousands of dollars on new textbooks for students and the cost continues to rise, according to Dr. Verdell Lett Dawson, coordinator of curriculum, instruction and technology.

Dawson said classes are not even in session yet and the school system has already spent $59,649 on textbooks for Selma High School alone. And they may not be the only ones to have to shell out for new books.

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Starting this year, however, the school system can no longer afford to let students, or their parents, continue to not pay for lost or damaged books.

Dawson said the school system will be enforcing Section 16-36-69 of Alabama Code that requires students to replace lost or damaged textbooks within 30 days.

In 2003, the system budgeted $58,000 for textbooks at Selma High and eventually spent nearly $71,000.

The cost of the average high school textbook, Dawson said, ranges between $60-$65.

This is about $20 to $30 more than the average cost of an elementary or middle school-level textbook.

&8220;The (Alabama Department of Education) allocates money for textbooks based on student enrollment,&8221; Dawson said.

During the previous three years, when the state only funded books for grades K-2, the school system found ways to purchase books for its students.

In the past, Dawson said, the school system has been lenient on students who lost or damaged their assigned textbooks.

If a student does not pay for a replacement

textbook, Dawson said, that student will no longer be entitled to receive any more textbooks from the school.

Dawson said all of the schools in the system should have sent letters to parents explaining the change and the reasons for the enforcement.