School Fees Are Illegal

Guidelines for District Staff and Parents Regarding Student Fees, Donations and Fundraising III. Exceptions: Permissible Mandatory Fees/Charges/Deposits The following are specific exceptions to the prohibition on fees, charges and deposits at the kindergarten through 12th grade level (some legal provisions related to child care programs and adult education are not listed here). These fees, charges and deposits are legally permissible because they are specifically permitted by law. (Note: This list is based on legal authorizations, but the inclusion of a permissible fee, charge or deposit on this list does not necessarily mean that District schools currently assess the fee, charge or deposit). The following fees, charges, and deposits are permissible: 1.Charges for optional attendance as a spectator at a school or District sponsored activity. (Hartzell, 35 Cal.3d 899, 911, fn. 14). 4.Fees for field trips and excursions in connection with courses of instruction or school related social, educational, cultural, athletic, or school band activities, as long as no student is prevented from making the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds. (Education Code § 35330(b)). 7.Charges for standardized physical education attire of a particular color and design, but the school may not mandate that the attire be purchased from the school and no physical education grade of a student may be impacted based on the failure to wear standardized apparel “arising from circumstances beyond the control” of the student. (Education Code § 49066). 9.Charges for the rental or lease of personal property needed for District purposes, such as caps and gowns for graduation ceremonies (Education Code § 38119). 10.Fees for school camp programs, so long as no student is denied the opportunity to participate because of nonpayment of the fee. (Education Code § 35335).
— March 20, 2010 10:08 a.m.

School Fees Are Illegal

Volume 30 For Publication Date: March 26, 2010 No. 6 Ask SSC . . . What About the Students Who Didn’t Help with the Fundraising Efforts for the Field Trip? Q. Every year near the end of the school year, our school’s 8thgrade class takes a trip to a theme park. The trip is optional for the students, and all fees are absorbed by the money generated through fundraising by the interested students. If a student wants to attend, but did not participate in the fundraising, can the district stop that student from attending the trip? A. Education Code Section 35330(b)(1) is the provision of law that states the following: No pupil shall be prevented from making the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds. To this end, the governing board shall coordinate efforts of community service groups to supply funds for pupils in need. (2) No group shall be authorized to take a field trip or excursion authorized by this section if a pupil who is a member of an identifiable group will be excluded from participation in the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds. The Code views the students who did not take part in the fundraising efforts, regardless of the circumstances, to be a member of the identifiable group. The 2009 edition of the Associated Student Body Accounting Manual & Desk Reference by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) comments further on the provision of law by adding “. . . nor may a student be left behind for failing or refusing to participate in fund-raisers.” FCMAT’s manual is considered by the school finance community to be a solid source of good business practices and sound, practical advice for the complex environment of student body operations. This implies that districts should not stop the student from participating in the trip to the theme park. Furthermore, the school has an obligation to find alternative sources to support the student in order for him or her to go on the field tr
— March 20, 2010 8:52 a.m.

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