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The Grand Jury of Tulare County report. Apparently there had been some
complaints sent to them (they are the watchdogs of government agencies) about
this matter. They did an investigation and ruled it was in fact against the
law and must stop. They are going to continue to investigate and hold
administrators responsible for infractions.
In 1996 there was a NAEA Advisory on this matter that I showed my Principal.
It covered the outcome of court rulings in different states on the issue. It
varied from state to state how "free education" was interpreted. Over all most
states agreed no lab fee should be charged in class required to graduate.
The Grand Jury here has ruled that no fee can be requested for any class that
receives a grade. Nor, can students be omitted from participation in an
activity if they have not paid a fee or contributed to fund raising
activities. This means they don't have to help with say, a car wash or bingo,
but can still go to the spring concert. The Music teacher is having a fit
At another Central Valley High School, the art teachers refuse to give the
kids their portfolio until the lab fee is paid. They have a school policy that
anything that goes home has to be paid for; wood shop projects, art projects,
food products. If you don't buy it it stays at school. I have a hard time with
that. I don't want to hold someone's artwork hostage!
Another school in the area has a small store in the class. Students have to
buy the supplies needed for a project from the student aid in the classroom. I
sure don't have the room or time to do that. This is the kind of thing that
dilutes our job. Everyone deals with this differently, but like you, I want to
know what my parameters are going into the deal. I don't want to be blamed for
something later that was considered "school policy". Suzette