Legislation sponsored by Del. Kaye Kory (D) to prohibit local school boards from charging fees to take Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests if the tests are required for course credit was defeated in the House Education Committee. Opponents of the measure expressed concerns about the cost.
“I strongly believe that charging fees for AP and IB tests is the same as charging for enrollment in the course,” Kory says. “That is a violation of the Commonwealth of Virginia Constitution, and that gets into separate but equal education. It is extremely discriminatory to charge students to take an advanced course.”
Kory says she realizes the cost impact of House Bill 2082, but says, “I do not think it is fair to balance the budget on the backs of disadvantaged students.” Kory represents the 38th District, which includes large sections of Annandale and Mason District.
Fairfax County Public Schools charges $75 for each AP and IB test, plus a $100 athletic fee per student, per sport. Annandale High School offers the IB program; the majority of Fairfax County high schools have the AP program.
In related news, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) issued an opinion stating that “a local school board cannot impose a mandatory fee on students taking advanced placement courses for the required taking of the Advanced Placement Examination.” The opinion was a response to a question from Sen. David Marsden (D-Fairfax) about the legality of FCPS’s fees for the exams.