Sending a child to school used to be a less complex issue. If your child was in public school, his education was absolutely free. If your child was in private school, you paid tuition and made donations if and when you could. Nowadays both public and private school often have a schedule of fees encompassing things from books and field trips to fees for parties, classroom supplies, invited speakers and other items. In some schools the fee schedule can truly take a toll on one's finances. If this is the case you should communicate with the school.
Format your letter correctly by having your address in four separate lines at the top right-hand corner of the page. Skip a line and write the date underneath your address. Skip another line and write the address of the school on four separate lines on the left side.
Skip another line and address the letter to the person in charge of fees, finances or scholarships at the school. Sometimes counselors or a committee of teachers might be assigned to handle questions related to finances and scholarships. If you don't know off hand who to address the letter to, you may need to call the school or check if the information is available on the school's website.
Start your first paragraph by praising the school and thanking them for the positive benefit they've made in your child's life. Cite specific examples such as educational field trips, memorable teachers and other factors.
Explain your financial hardship in the following paragraph. You don't have to get into personal details; however, a few sentences that explain why the money is tighter in your household are appropriate. For example, perhaps you just lost your job, or you're putting several kids through college or you've been repairing a car or dealing with medical expenses.
Write your request in plain, polite English in your final sentence. Make your request clear, but don't write it so that you sound demanding. For example, a sentence like, "I kindly ask that you refrain from billing me for school fees for the next few months" is appropriate.
Thank the school for considering your request. Close the letter with "Sincerely" and your name.
Other Forms of Assistance
If the school is not able to help directly with fees, they may be able to assist in other ways. Many schools have lending closets that provide free uniforms for children of low-income families. Schools can also help you identify and apply for special programs like free or reduced lunch programs and other supports that can provide some financial relief.
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