Why do Haslett High School students pay an art fee?

Haslett students are required to pay a $15 art fee for each semester of a standard art class.

Throughout the school, there are varying opinions on the matter of the art program’s funding. While some students are outraged, others are in favor of our school’s art fee. 

To take a standard art class, students are asked to pay a fee of $15 for a semester or $25 for the whole year. Of course, there are exceptions to paying the fee. If a student or family in financial hardship cannot pay, the art fee is waived. 

On the other hand, AP Art students pay an additional $10, making their fee $25.  Because it is an advanced art class, students work with higher-level mediums.

“It’s worth it to get high quality art supplies,” AP Art student David Haller said. “We use oil paint, which is more expensive than acrylic. You have to pay to play.”

Other students question how funding decisions are made by the district. 

“We don’t need turf, we need paintbrushes,” senior Maddy Moreno said, referencing the school’s new and improved football stadium. 

Senior Max Henry chimed in saying, “Why should we have to pay to express ourselves?”

But from a teacher’s perspective, the art fee is extremely helpful. 

“I started off teaching elementary art at Murphy, and there’s no art fee there,” art teacher Kaylee Hammond said. “It was really hard to cover everything with the art budget because there was no art fee at all. 

“I’d put my art supply order in at the beginning of the year, but then anything else that I needed came out of my own pocket,” she said. “So I spent hundreds of dollars out of my own pocket. Now that I teach at the high school, it is so nice to have the art fee because it does help cover those expenses.” 

The budget for the art program is $3,000. That is the amount meant to cover the supplies for close to 200 art students. Between Hammond and teacher Matthew McDonald’s art classes, this amount provides roughly $12 per student. 

“We want students to be using quality materials,” Hammond said. “We want students to have the experience working with clay and glaze and working on canvas and working on nice paper. 

“There is absolutely no way we can have the art program that we do without [the art fee] because the only reason why we are able to use the materials that we do is because of it.”