Thursday, January 08, 2009

Illegal Fees--Not Just For California Anymore

Click on my illegal fees label to see the posts I've written about the illegal fees we charge in our schools. I don't make such claims lightly, either; I quote ed code, court cases, and the opinion of the state attorney general. I was the driving force behind my district's new policy, approved by the school board last year, clarifying which fees can be charged and which cannot. I'm not convinced we follow that policy all that much, but at least it's in black and white should I ever decide to push the issue.

Parents in Maryland are fighting a similar fight.

This past August, WTOP first brought to light the issue of a group of parents pushing Montgomery County Schools to dump the fees they charged for everything - from dictionaries and workbooks to towel and locker fees for gym class.

Now, after months of review, Montgomery County School Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast has issued a 17-page memo outlining a policy shift.

Parents will still have to pay for some items, but the fees will be cut by 60 percent to 70 percent.

In California, just about any fee charged at a school is illegal--whether or not the class is required for graduation. That we allow schools and school boards to get away with such illegality is a travesty.

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