School Superintendent Issues Refunds From Money Collected During Registration

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Students in Russellville are in the middle of their second week of school. Some of their parents had an issue during the registration process. The parents accused the school district of charging a registration fee. WHNT NEWS 19 now has an update to the 'Fighting for You' story.

The Superintendent of Russellville City Schools said money was not collected as a registration fee, but was taken as a donation. Superintendent Rex Mayfield said he would give a refund to any parent questioning their payment. We checked in with the Mayfield to see if any refunds were issued.

"I received an automated phone call that said, this is Russellville High School and your child has to be registered for school," said Parent Melissa Jackson.

Jackson would often smile after getting a call like that, but this time found herself getting a headache.

"It didn't say donation. It said required. Maybe it didn't say mandatory, so I don't want to put words in their mouth. It said required registration fee," added Jackson.

The Russellville High School parent paid $25 to the school system. She also began to wonder why. Jackson showed WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin her receipts. Both had questions.

WHNT NEWS 19 stopped by the school district to see the Superintendent. Mayfield said the money was collected as a donation and should not have been called a registration fee.

"I thought wow. WHNT NEWS 19 is really on our side," added Jackson.

Mayfield told WHNT NEWS 19 in initial report he would give a refund to any parent who thought they were misled. WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin talked with Jackson about the superintendent's promise.

"I do not feel like anything would have been done if we hadn't contacted you and you had not gotten involved," added Jackson.

Mayfield has received 18 refund requests. The school district will give back around $450 to parents.

Jackson did not request a refund.

"I just really felt, OK, if the school actually really needed the money, then so be it. I just don't want the school misrepresenting itself," added Jackson.

Mayfield says parents who requested refunds should get their money back by the end of the month. The district is waiting for all checks to clear, so it can issue refund checks at one time.

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