ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Ann Arbor Public Schools over a new plan to charge students $100 per semester to take seventh-hour classes.

And Michigan ACLU Staff Attorney Brooke Tucker says the Michigan Constitution requires that all public school instruction must be free.

“It’s band, orchestra, advanced placement courses, accelerated courses. It’s all of the courses that are for academic credit — not those interscholastic athletics that people do outside of school and don’t get any credit for,” she said. “These are … high school requirements that are used to be competitive for college admission.”

“This includes advance placement chemistry, which one of the plaintiffs is going to take during the coming semester. This is not just performing arts courses,” Tucker added. “Although, even if it were, the courts have been very clear that those must be provided for free if students are getting credit for it. ”

Tucker said state law doesn’t allow for any exceptions based on the number of courses the student takes or that a school district offers.

“And the Ann Arbor Public Schools are going against that model and doing something that hasn’t been done by any other school in the state,” she said.

Ann Arbor District spokeswoman Liz Margolis says school officials haven’t yet received the complaint and will comment after reading it.


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