Robert Katz, co-web editor-in-chief
(As seen in the print edition)
The credit recovery summer school program, which provides students with an avenue for retaking courses they have previously failed for graduation credit, will be hosted by the Beverly Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) this summer and will require a mandatory fee per student for the first time in Beverly’s history. Classes acting as year-long courses will cost $730, and semester-long courses will run for $365.
Although the district has traditionally offered free credit recovery courses for students who have failed courses but do not wish to retake classes during the school year, the threat of Proposition 30’s budget constraints has forced BHEF to absorb summer classes into its own Summer Academy.
“We have absolutely no state funding,” Superintendent Dr. Gary Woods said. “We just can’t afford to cover the costs anymore.”
For students who cannot afford to pay for these courses, the school will continue to seek out cheaper alternatives.
“We’re looking to see if there are any summer school courses that are free [and] we’re looking at community colleges to see if students could take a [less costly] college class,” Head Counselor Diane Hale said. “We’re looking at other options for them but it’s really up to the students and the parents [as to what the students do].”
While students such as junior Michael Simozar admire Beverly’s encouragement of an internal summer school program, they did not agree with the new price tag. “If the school is forcing you to make up classes, you should not have to pay to make up requirements,” Simozar said, “But you have to respect that the school is going out of its way to work extra hours.” Freshman Jonathan Gunn expressed his concern that low-performing students might have difficulties with over-coming the fee. “Students that don’t do well in school may have some family problems and may not be able to afford [summer school],” Gunn said. “There should be some way to fund [their courses]. [Cheaper options at] community college [are] good, but Beverly is a much more suitable environment.”
Some hoped the charge would deter students from underachieving in class.
“This should be an incentive for students to work harder, knowing they’d have to pay to repeat a class if they do badly,” Hale said. “I hope we can encourage them to do the very best they can in their classes so they don’t have to go to summer school.”
Though in agreement that making students pay for credit recovery classes may encourage students to perform better in classes during the year, Woods denied that student performance was considered in the district’s decision.
“The primary motive for this was not to encourage students to do better in school,” Woods said. “Though we hope it does.”
The BHEF did not respond to requests for comment.