ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County parents are furious over unexpected fines when returning their child’s district-issued laptop.
Some said they were charged more than $100 for devices that were already damaged.
Several parents said their children brought home bills for things like missing keys on the laptop or a bad charger.
“It’s frustrating, and it’s upsetting,” said parent Monica Ramos.
Ramos said she was hit with a $50 fine when her high schooler returned her district-issued laptop at the end of the school year.
“They say there was a crack on the back of the laptop, but it was old laptop. It was a crack already there from the previous owner,” Ramos said.
Other Orange County parents had bigger bills.
“I heard that people are paying over $300 for a laptop that was completely old,” Ramos said.
On its website, Orange County Public Schools said parents are responsible to cover the cost for devices that are accidentally or intentionally damaged, lost or not returned.
It does not identify acceptable wear and tear.
OCPS sent Channel 9 a statement, saying: “In order to protect the taxpayer’s investment, a reimbursement structure was put in place when it started the digital 1:1 initiative.”
Ramos said some students were warned, if they don’t pay up, they can’t walk at graduation or attend future events like homecoming.
If you can’t pay the fine in full, OCPS said to reach out to the school for payment plan options.
You can also fight the fine by contacting your child’s principal in writing.
©2022 Cox Media Group