Valley magnet school asking parents to chip in after CCSD budget cuts

A local magnet school is asking parents to chip in, supposedly due to budget cuts have them in a bind.

Walter Bracken S.T.E.A.M Academy sent parents a letter asking them to pay a $20 fee to keep their specialized programs up and running.

This comes one week after CCSD announced that they are closing the school year with a more than $60-million budget deficit.

In the letter, the school explains that they spend around $70 per student for the special technology driven courses.

They went on to say "Due to recent budget cuts we appreciate any donations above this amount to ensure these programs continue school-wide."

Parents like Denise Munoz say if it means her child gets a better education then paying the fee is worth it.

"I would rather them ask us to pay for it then for them to take away the programs completely. If it was around $100, then I would be concerned. However, 20 bucks for them to keep doing what they are doing, then that is all right," said Munoz.

Some parents are questioning why they are being asked to pay a fee when the school already has a set budget funded by taxpayer dollars.

"I would not chip in $20 knowing there is a budget already set for what schools are getting individually. I do not think we need to chip in for anything," said Parent Martin Martinez.

News 3 reached out to CCSD and they sent a statement saying in part.

"It is not uncommon for schools to a request for assistance from their parents and community partners."

The school says the $20 fee is not mandatory and if there are any families that cannot pay it, their children will not be excluded from any programs or activities.

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