California Settles School Fee Lawsuit

Last Updated: January 25, 2011

This article appeared in the January 2011 Rural Policy Matters.

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California has settled a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over the charging of illegal fees by school districts. (See background in September RSFN.) A number of districts around the state were charging students lab, materials, and other fees for participation in certain classes and school activities. A 1984 California Supreme Court ruling, however, bans all fees as a violation of the state constitution’s guarantee of free public education.

As part of the settlement the state agreed to develop and implement new legislation that would broaden state audits to help determine whether districts are charging fees and also create a complaint and reimbursement mechanism for parents.

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Case settlement:
Continuing fees:

Read more from the January 2011 Rural Policy Matters.