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San Diego Unified has spelled out new guidelines on school fees, 10News reports. We also wrote about this issue a few weeks ago, as parents raised concerns that schools were crossing the legal line when hitting them up for art supplies, uniforms and other costs.

You can read the new rules for yourself here, but here it is in a nutshell:

The California Constitution mandates that public education be provided to students free of charge, unless a charge is specifically authorized by law for a particular program or activity … whether curricular or extracurricular, and regardless of whether credit is awarded for the educational activity. The right of free access also prohibits mandated purchases of materials, supplies, equipment or uniforms associated with the activity, as well as the payment of security deposits for access, participation, materials or equipment

Finally, a process that allows for a waiver process for an otherwise mandatory fee, charge or deposit does not render it constitutionally permissible.

The guidelines go on to lay out exceptions to the rules, including charging kids for loaned books or supplies that they fail to return, fees for parking vehicles on school grounds and school camp programs.

EMILY ALPERT

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