The School Committee in all its wisdom is allowing the administration to force parents to pay for Ed Stations (and probably ECC, too?) with online payments only, adding a "convenience fee" on top. Dolan's city online payment option (taxes, water/sewer) same deal, and it's a hefty fee. Ridiculous and usury. Bad enough that the city is soaking its citizens so unfairly with its assortment of extortionist and/or outright illegal charges like the trash fee (which is actually a tax and should have been challenged in court long ago because it is not, repeat NOT, legal). But forcing parents to pay with this online option only cannot be legal, especially since the school committee did not include this increase (it amounts to yet another increase) when it decided on fees. The city could be using payment methods that do not assess further fees, but naturally it chooses the option that hits the parents where it hurts, yet again. Ed Stations is a summer and after/before-school program that serves working parents, many of whom are barely surviving as it is.
This "convenience fee" for Ed Stations is unfair and should be eliminated, and returned to those who've already had to pay it. It should be wiped out for city payments of taxes, water/sewer. The city would realize a benefit in increased online payments and lower employee costs. Sure, credit card companies assess fees. So what. Forcing a 3% fee for every online payment here is actually usury, and it needs to stop. Has anyone ever asked our city auditor how much the city is actually making from this fee it collects (because sure as anything, it is seeing a profit, one that it most certainly does not warrant and should not be collecting)?
That's outrageous. There's no echeck option? I've NEVER seen an online payment system where echeck was not available, and I've never seen an echeck option that has a fee.
Relax. That is for credit cards. If you use a bank account direct draw it costs a quarter per transaction.
Online Payment Center FAQ
Melrose Public Schools offers the convenience of paying school fees/tuitions online by credit card or ACH (electronic payment from bank account). All information is secure and payments are executed using encryption. Please note that Melrose Public Schools does not store and checking account or credit card information.
As this service is offered as a convenience it is important to note that a convenience fee will be assessed by the vendor (payment processor) for all payments made through the On-Line Payment Center.
Currently the fees are as follows:
.25 for each ACH transaction
a percentage (typically 2-3% of the total transaction) for each credit card transaction
When this city has a history of such rank incompetence that it cannot even protect its Police Department server and has to pay Bitcoin in ransom after a week (!!!!) where our Police had no access to their own files, why should anyone trust their bank account information to the Melrose Public Schools????? Nope. Not a reasonable proposition.
And why anyone should be assessed ANY fees on top of the extortionist fees already being assessed is also not reasonable!
"Please note that Melrose Public Schools does not store and checking account or credit card information."
But just try and find out any financial information (or any information, actually) that voters/taxpayers are entitled to in Melrose, and you will be handed a big bill for the privilege of getting a tiny fraction of the PUBLIC INFORMATION that should be accessible for free!
Why should anyone believe anything this administration claims? They have a proven history of lies, law-breaking, and obfuscation and should not be trusted one iota!
The kindergartners don't have id numbers yet so the Central Admin office has to take checks from them. No service fee. Drop your check off. They have the capacity to process it.
Pay by the 1st for the discount though. No longer the 5th.
Or pay the .25 online.