From The Los Angeles Times: Education officials in California say they are bracing for a shift in how extracurricular activities are funded, the result of a lawsuit settlement that bars schools and their affiliates from charging students fees for such programs. The American Civil Liberties Union contended in the suit that charging students for educational materials and activities violated a constitutional mandate to provide students with a free and equitable education. The state now mandates that all educational and extracurricular supplies, materials and equipment be provided free of charge. That requirement might be disastrous for districts already strapped for cash, officials say.
DECEMBER 2010...from The Los Angeles Times: California and the American Civil Liberties Union have reached a settlement that will give students in the state new protections against being charged fees for a public education. The agreement provides a framework for informing students and parents of their rights, enforcing the rules and penalizing transgressors. If auditors conclude that a school district has charged illegal fees, it would be required to reimburse parents or suffer a financial penalty. And parents could challenge such fees immediately through a complaint process that must be resolved within 30 days.
SEPTEMBER 2010....from The New York Times: The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of California over proliferating student fees, arguing that the state has failed to protect the right to a free public education. The lawsuit names 35 school districts that list on their Web sites the fees their schools charge for courses including art, home economics and music, for Advanced Placement tests and for materials including gym uniforms.