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School Fees



The Utah Constitution prohibits the charging of fees in elementary schools. That means that if your child is in kindergarten through grade six (even though the grade may be part of a middle school), you cannot be charged for textbooks, classroom equipment or supplies, musical instruments, field trips, assemblies, snacks (other than food provided through the School Lunch Program), or for anything else that takes place or is used during the regular school day.

If you wish to purchase school pictures, yearbooks, or similar items through the school, those costs are not fees and will not be waived. Also, if your student loses or damages school property, the costs of replacement or repair are not fees and need not be waived.

Federal law permits schools to charge for food or milk provided as part of the School Lunch Program. If you cannot afford to pay, you may be eligible for free or reduced price meals or milk. Your school will give you information about applying for free or reduced price meals and milk. All information which you provide in your application will be kept confidential.

State law and State Board of Education rules allow local school boards to permit elementary schools to charge some fees, but not for anything that takes place during the regular school day! Fees may only be charged for programs offered before or after school, or during school vacations. But if your child is eligible for free school lunch or receives SSI payments, or if you are receiving AFDC or if the child was placed in your home by the government as a foster child, the school must waive the fees. If you are having a financial emergency caused by job loss, major illness, or other substantial loss of income beyond your control, you might be eligible for a waiver even though your child does not qualify for free school lunch. If your local school board allows your school to charge fees, a Fee Waiver Application (Grades K-6) is enclosed. Your school will give you additional information about fee waivers if you ask.

School funds are limited, and your school may need help. As a result, the school may ask you for tax-deductible donations of school supplies, equipment, or money, but the school cannot require donations or tell anyone else the names of those who have or have not made donations (except that the school may honor those who make major donations). No child may be penalized for not making a donation. For example, if donations are used to pay for a field trip, every child must be allowed to go on the trip even though some may not have made a donation.

If you have questions, first talk to your school or school district representative listed below. If you still need help, contact one of the other agencies listed:

School telephone no.: (801) 452-4200                                           Utah Issues Information Program, Inc.

Ask for: Mrs. Amsden                                                                330 West 500 South Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

District telephone no.:(801) 476-7800                                            (801) 521-2035 (Salt Lake area)

Ask for: Mrs. Alexander                                                                     or 1-800-331-5627 (other areas)

Utah Legal Services, Inc.                                                                 Utah State Office of Education

254 West 400 South, 2nd Floor                                                        250 East 500 South

Salt Lake City, Utah 84101                                                              Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

328-8891 (Salt Lake area)                                                                                538-7830

or 1-800-662-4245 (other areas)