A university in southeast Florida has decided to punish its school districts by cutting off financial support to the districts that don’t cooperate with state-mandated school exams.
Mount Saint Joseph University in Pittsburgh said the school’s board decided on Monday to increase administrative fees paid by local schools so they can pay for the exams. The exam can be an important factor in academic credit.
Colleges and universities give out $200 billion in federal aid each year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Mount Saint Joseph’s business, economics and law schools offer joint degree programs with the nation’s 51 School Districts, or SDCs.
“The financial savings associated with the assessments will allow our partnering School Districts to become competitive with their counterparts nationally when they apply for SDCs assistance,” JoAnn Buch-Bellini, the university’s dean of academic affairs, said in a statement.
This policy is in conflict with a new federal requirement under a new law signed by President Trump and originally pushed by right-wing lawmakers to reduce the financial burden of federally mandated testing.
The universities argue they already get generous state financial support from federal funds disbursed through the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. Mount Saint Joseph said the School Districts’ proposed tests could detract from students’ educational opportunities.
The revised regulations around federal-mandated testing will take effect in January.
Mount Saint Joseph’s tuition was $14,364 a year last year. Student fees are $48 a semester and general fees are $7.47 a day, according to Mount Saint Joseph’s website.
Students from the state of Florida will not be eligible for the school’s fee waiver that if they bring three students with disabilities to Mount Saint Joseph’s, one of the Black Studies Center’s and a Black Student Union.