Administrators and parents alike have long waited for clarity on what fees schools could and could not charge students. With Governor Brown signing legislation that settles a lawsuit over public schools charging students for educational activities and materials, that day has come, right? Think again.
Intended to clarify the law around what fees school districts can charge and to rightfully curb abuses where schools have been illegally exacting fees from students, AB 1575 was the result of the ACLU’s class action lawsuit claiming that public schools have been violating the free school guarantee in the State Constitution. Without rehashing all of the details of the law and requirements, I’d like to point out the dilemma and challenge that school boards and districts face in implementing the law, and posit that the matter is far from settled. The publicity of the ACLU lawsuit prompted many districts, including my own, to start these discussions almost two years ago and analyze what we were charging students.