AP Test Fees for Oakland Tech kids
$25,496 of $25,000 goal
In years past, Oakland Tech has been able to pay AP test fees for kids who take the exams at the end of their school year. In 2018, due to severe midyear budget cuts initiated by OUSD, there's no money left to cover AP fees, which are $94 per kid, per test.
For some Tech families, that's not a hardship. For many, many more families at Tech, that's a significant burden, especially if their kids are taking >1 AP. This may result in students who have taken AP classes all year long opting NOT to take the exam - thereby losing the chance for college credits or to prove that they're capable of college level work.
This is where income inequality leads to opportunity inequality. And the Oakland Tech community is better than that.
I've learned from the Tech administration that we need to raise $7000 to cover AP testing fees for all students in AP classes this year (minus a modest $10/test contribution that they'd like students to pay, to have some skin in the game.) **Edited 3/21 by Nancy - Ms. Taylor has explained the exact $ amount that kids will pay is being reviewed after the outpouring of donations so this may change. We have also upped our goal to $20k so that we can cover all test for the neediest families, even if the kids take >1 AP.** **Edited 3/22 by Nancy - let's up the goal to $25k and see how many more kids/tests we can cover!**
If you'd like to be part of making AP exam testing affordable for our students in 2018, please contribute what you can, and please spread the word. Ideally, OUSD will take back the responsibility for funding this, but we have an immediate need in 2018 to reassure students that they'll be able to afford a test they've worked all year to prepare for.
Thank you for your generosity!
Nancy Kho, parent of Bulldogs class of 2016 and 2019
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your support of our hard-working students, of Oakland public schools, and of the notion that opportunity equality matters.
With deepest gratitude -
Update from Oakland Tech's PTSA (parent-student-teacher organization):
We are grateful beyond words to have received such an outpouring of support! It's immensely inspiring to see our community unite to help students excel and pursue their dreams! It's amazing and heartening.
With the donations we are receiving this week, and with renewed support from the school district's central office, Oakland Tech now hopes that the $94 per-exam fee will be covered for every student whose family needs help covering this significant cost (which can amount to $386 for a single high-achieving student!). Here's how:
- Oakland Unified has agreed to cover all exam fees for students who qualify for reduced-price or free meals or Medicaid. Those students will not pay anything.
- The donated funds will cover fees for additional students who request assistance.
- We are still asking families that can afford to pay for the tests to do so as soon as possible.
Please note that we are keeping our campaign open because the actual need — even with the district covering test fees for our very neediest students — is at least $45,000.
Thank you again for your support of our students!
(And from me, Nancy - a million thanks again for making my little idea to set up a GoFundMe campaign to address this AP test fee inequality a shining example of community generosity and a shared belief in the power of educational access. You guys are the wind beneath my wings.)***
The school is finalizing details of how this will be allocated and I'll share it as soon as I receive it. If we can help more kids I'll keep raising the goal - I'm going to make it $25k today so we keep the momentum going.
In the meantime I want to say - especially to the prospective Tech families who donated - that this is why Tech is special. We've got our challenges, for sure. (Did you think the paper drive was the last time you'd have to donate? Have you dropped off boxes of tissues and paper towels to a teacher lately?)
But our kids are learning every day in a diverse, compassionate community, and they're learning by example as we solve problems creatively on their behalf. That's a lesson on which you all are teaching a master class.
Thank you times 21,270.
I woke up this morning and flipped on the computer to see that we had a.) Made the KTVU evening news last night (thanks, Ms. Taylor and Amber Lee!) and b.) had BLOWN THROUGH our original fundraising goal of $7k. WHAT??
In a time when bad news is all over, I'm reminded again and again how fundamentally kind, generous, and helpful people are when given the opportunity. I encourage you to scroll through the comments to see what motivated people to give - and to see all the people now pulling for our Tech kids to ace the APs. "5"s all around, please!
I've finally had a chance to talk with Ms. Taylor, the assistant principal who handles AP test fees, about how the money will be allocated. Here's the Cliff notes (do people still use Cliff notes?)
1 - Ms. Taylor is working with OUSD and Tech to figure out exactly how to allocate the funds fairly and equitably within schools policy guidelines, but the goal is to help students from the neediest families first - the ones who don't qualify for fee waivers because their income is just a smidge over the free or reduced lunch line. In a school the size of Tech, that's hundreds of families.
2 - It's also a goal to make sure students taking >1 AP class can afford the test for all their classes. No one should have a Sophie's Choice about whether to take AP Spanish over AP English or something like that.
3 - When Ms. Taylor has the policy settled and approved on allocations, she'll give it to me and I'll post it here and on the PTSA listserv.
The original $7k goal would have helped only the very neediest students pay for a single test; thanks to your generosity we can help more families and cover more tests.
So I'm raising the roof on this campaign to $20k by March 25, to see how many more students we can relieve of the burden of worry about paying for tests. We'd much rather they worry about memorizing chemistry formulas and arcane dates in American history. Think we can do it?