HUNTERSVILLE – About 50 parents of students in the North Mecklenburg High School International Baccalaureate program met Sept. 22 to discuss paying for their children’s IB exams.

Following the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education’s decision to stop paying for the exams, which cost $96 each, plus a $141 registration fee, some families are left facing tough decisions.

Parents must decide this month whether their children will take the tests this year. Because of the high cost of exams, some parents may be forced to consider opting out of the diploma program, which would mean they could not apply their child’s IB credits towards college courses.

Continued budget strains caused the school board to approve a 2010-11 budget in May, which no longer included money for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams. Parents are now responsible for the exam and registration fees, which for most North Meck IB families total more than $800.

The North Meck IB parents committee is seeking ways to help families pay for the tests. They plan to hold fundraiser, and seek grant money and donations from local businesses and community members.

“These are driven kids,” North Meck IB parent committee leader Trish Greer said. “We’ve got to start supporting the kids who are really trying to get the best education they can.”

If you’d like to donate, contact Trish Greer at 704-604-2648 or