Fee Time
Student Fees

If you're one of the thousands of parents who have kids in the Loudon County school system, you may be suffering from sticker shock especially if your kid is in high school. On your first days back to school you were most likely served with a list of student fees you would need to pay. Depending on the school and the grade, it could be hundreds of dollars. Fact of the matter is, you don't have to pay student fees regardless of income.

The list of fees being charged has now reached a ridiculous level. Parking fees, locker fees, art fees, academic fees, freshman fees, sophomore fees and on and on and on. I'm just surprised they don't try to charge a fees fee.

For years schools have continued to come up with more and more ways to separate parents from their money. The State Board Of Education render an opinion based on the law that clarified the whole school fee issue. Essentially the law allows schools to request fees but parents are not required to pay any fees and it has nothing to do with income or free and reduced meals.


CHAPTER 0520-1-3



0520-1-3-.03 Administration of Schools, Requirement B

(13) School Fees.

(a) School systems may request but not require payment of school fees. No fees may be required of any student, regardless of financial status (including eligibility for free or reduced price lunch), as a condition of attending public schools or using its equipment while receiving educational training. Before fees may be requested, they must be authorized by the board of education.

(b) Local board policy will determine activities during the school day and supplies that are required for participation in courses offered for credit or grade for which the board authorizes the requesting of fees. The board shall adopt a policy consistent with this rule by which to waive such fees for any student, including students eligible for free or reduced price school lunches.

1. At the beginning of the school year, at the time of enrollment, and/or at the time of requesting school fees, all students and their parents or legal guardians shall be given clear and prominent written notice of the fee waiver process.

2. The parent or legal guardian of a student shall be given the opportunity to pay all or any portion of the school fee if they desire. However, if the parent chooses not to pay a fee, the child may not be prevented from participating in the activity or course for which the fee is being requested.

(c) School fees are defined as:

1. Fees for activities that occur during regular school hours, including field trips, any portion of which fall within the school day;
2. Fees for activities and supplies required to participate in all courses offered for credit or grade, including interscholastic athletics and marching band if taken for credit in accordance with local board policies;

Not only can schools not require fees, they are suppose to inform parents when fees are requested that they are not required to pay them. That information is suppose to be included with any fee requests.

I'm sure many of you have already paid most if not all of the fees requested and if you wanted to pay them, that's fine. But maybe you paid them thinking they were required. Most are not.

Read your request closely and if you do not want to pay the unnecessary fees, don't.