Kentucky schools faced with moral decision on paying for AP tests

The price of six AP tests? 348 dollars. The price of a good education? priceless. But not when you’re a single parent trying to survive in today’s struggling economy. Not when each of your two kids take three AP classes and are planning on taking tests which will cost you a total of 348 dollars. Should the parent not reward their children for taking the most rigorous classes and achieving high? With the ever increasing cost of colleges in the back of their mind, it may not be an easy choice for a parent to make.

Thankfully there is a solution to this problem. JCPS schools should acknowledge the law already passed by the Kentucky state legislature regarding the payment of AP tests. Kentucky law KRS 160.348 says, “Effective with the 2008-2009 school year and thereafter, students enrolled in AP or IB courses in the public schools shall have the cost of the examinations paid by the Kentucky Department of Education.”

Shamefully, schools have consistently turned a blind eye to this law and have continued to charge students to take the test. “I think it would be great (if the state paid for the tests). I just don’t know if the state has the money,” said Ms. Teague (duPont Manual Counselor H-O).

In addition many students feel it is wrong to charge students to take a test. “I don’t feel like i should be charged to showcase my knowledge, and as a result i don’t take AP classes,” said duPont Manual student Jarrett Wilkins (11).

The opposition to this proposal usually involves the costs of the tests themselves. Each test must have a reader who scores the essays, in addition to the machine which scores the multiple choice. While this will cost the state more money, it is money well spent. Kentucky needs to prioritise funding better, and realize the importance of enabling education. If more students are able to take their AP tests, they will consequently receive more credit towards college classes and have reduced student loans.

“We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools,” said President Barack Obama on the issue of education. With the U.S seemingly dropping in global education rankings each year, the state needs to direct its money in a positive direction. Students and parents need to call their schools and ask them why they are not respecting the Kentucky state law and keeping Kentucky in a state of blind ignorance.