The American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the state in September in an effort to stop schools from charging illegal fees for uniforms, locks, gym clothes, athletic “spirit packs” and other dues, may settle the case this week.
Mark Rosenbaum of the Southern California Branch of the ACLU said he could not disclose details of the expected settlement, but said one option would involve the state Board of Education taking on an enforcement role.
There's so much more to this issue than PE costs. Lab fees in science, "material fees" in shop and art classes--these are just the tip of the iceberg. It costs over $2000/year to be a cheerleader at my school.
The Hartzell v Connell law is a good one that pupils would benefit from because public school would be an equal playing field in any economic time. Districts allowed wealthy parents to gouge out what they want for their children and forced the rest of the families to "keep up with the Joneses" in tax-payer funded schools - and this was when the economy was great and parents had plenty of money to spend.Now many of those parents are trapped in school activities that have expenses that are enormous with no monitoring by the Districts and they are going into debt trying to provide these activities to the point that they can't pay their bills. The ACLU settlement with the State of California must hold districts accountable and force districts to stop forcing teachers to collect school fees to generate revenue. It must be carefully crafted to protect students for decades. It would be another travesty of justice if the ACLU settlement with the State of California empowers boosters and foundations to continue the arm-twisting of parents for so-called donations as is what is happening now.
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