On March 13th, 2020, we established outschool.org to provide free classes to families affected by U.S. public school closures. In order to use these funds, families in need of financial assistance register through that page before proceeding to our standard Find Classes page. Currently, we are able to provide $300 worth of classes per family through this program. The initiative has provided almost $1 million USD worth of classes to these families, and we hope to raise more funds to continue providing classes to families in need.
While classes are free or discounted for these parents, teachers are still paid their regular class rates. Funding for this program has come from a combination of Outschool funds and gifts from donors, not from teacher payments. We want to make sure that we’re continuing to compensate our teachers for their hard work, especially in these trying times.
For more information on the Financial Assistance program, please visit outschool.org, and then select Apply for Assistance.
Logistical information for teachers
In order to confirm enrollment in a class through the Financial Assistance program, families put down a $1 deposit when they sign up for a class. We require this payment to make sure that spaces in your classes are only going to learners who intend to participate. Then, once a learner attends class, our system automatically refunds the $1 payment. Because we are still paying teachers in full, you’ll see two payments in the “change enrollment” modal that shows you information about a learner’s enrollment: the full price of your class and a $1 additional charge.
The two amounts display like this because our system needs to record both the regular price of your class and the $1 deposit paid by the family. To process a refund, you’ll need to refund both the $1 holding fee and the remaining balance equal to the price of your class.
Because many new families are joining Outschool through the free class program, it may be a good idea to check in with the family before issuing a teacher discount. Otherwise, the discount will affect your pay, but will not change anything for families who only paid $1 for class.