The end of the year is coming and along with it the period of renewal of enrollment in schools and the readjustment of tuition fees. Parents always keep an eye on the percentage that will be applied to school fees. But is there a maximum amount of readjustment allowed? Is it possible to negotiate this increase? Who should parents look for if they consider the percentage abusive?
The president of the Union of Private Teaching Establishments in the DF (Sinepe), Ana Elisa Dumont, explained that there is no maximum percentage that schools must apply for the readjustment determined by legislation. What is in effect is the Tuition Act, which dictates that schools must provide parents, upon request, with a cost sheet justifying the increase in fees. And this amount may vary according to the institution’s pedagogical proposal, with improvements in the physical structure and workload. Ana Elisa highlighted that it is impossible to determine a standard readjustment value since each school offers different services.
“There is no way to be a single readjustment for all schools, given that they have different pedagogical proposals, different periods and different classes. The pricing of monthly fees is based on what is provided within this cost spreadsheet and not measured with a specific index.”
But the fact that there is no ceiling for the increase in school fees does not mean that parents cannot negotiate these values. The president of the Association of Parents and Students of Private Teaching Institutions of the Federal District (Aspa), Alexandre Veloso, explained that parents can and should ask schools to present cost sheets that justify the adjustment in tuition.
In addition, it is possible to open a negotiation of discounts on top of the new values, although institutions are not required, by law, to grant this discount.
Alexandre suggests that parents get together in groups to visit the school board and try to sensitize managers about the country’s economic situation in this post-pandemic scenario.
“The vast majority of parents, the mass of public servants, did not have any kind of increase in this period. And as well as the parents and those responsible for the private activity, they also had a drop in revenue.”
Another point to be aware of is the tie-in sale: schools cannot condition the purchase of materials and uniforms with other school fees. Alexandre also highlighted that it is important for parents to read the service agreement and be aware of items such as interest for late payment and termination fines.
In case of doubt, families can contact Procon or the Public Ministry for the Protection of Education in their states.