School Fee Policy
School Fees Notice
FOR FAMILIES OF CHILDREN IN KINDERGARTEN THROUGH GRADE SIX (IF YOU NEED HELP IN UNDERSTANDING THIS LETTER, CALL 801-785-6500)
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 cost 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. 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 do not permit schools to charge fees 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. If your child is eligible based on income verification or receives SSI payments (QUALIFIED CHILD WITH DISABILITIES), or if you are receiving TANF (currently qualified for financial assistance or food stamps) or if the child was placed in your home by the government as a foster child, the school must waive these 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 if other eligibility criteria are not met. 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 will 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.
State law requires schools or school districts to require DOCUMENTATION of fee waiver eligibility, if parent must “apply for fee waivers.” Local boards will have policies and/or guidelines for determining eligibility for fee waivers.
School district administrators shall request documentation of fee waiver eligibility from those who apply for fee waivers if fees or charges are required for non-regular school day activities, such as after-school music or foreign language programs or Friday ski programs.
Fee waiver eligibility documentation is NOT required annually. Also, documentation shall NOT be maintained for privacy reasons. Schools may transfer fee waiver eligibility information to other schools to which students advance or transfer.
NOTE: If your district does not require parents in the entire district area or parents and students in specific schools or sections of the district to “apply for fee waivers,” district administrators NEED NOT require verification of eligibility under this section.
If you have questions, first talk to your school’s staff. If you still need help, contact:
Utah State Office of Education 250 East 500 South
P.O. Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200 801-538-7830