3520 Student Fees, Fines, Charges

  • The district shall provide an educational program for the students as free of costs as possible. 

    The Superintendent may approve the use of supplementary supplies or materials for which a charge is made to the student so long as the charge does not exceed the cost of the supplies or materials, students are free to purchase them elsewhere, or provide reasonable alternatives, and a proper accounting is made of all moneys received by staff for supplies and materials. 

    The Board delegates authority to the Superintendent to establish appropriate fees and procedures governing the collection of fees and to make annual reports to the Board regarding fee schedules. Arrangements will be made for the waiver or reduction of fees for students whose families, by reason of their low income, would have difficulty paying the full fee. For programs governed by the National School Lunch Act, the USDA Child Nutrition Program guidelines will be used to determine qualification for waiver. The Superintendent will establish a procedure for annually notifying parents of the availability of fee waivers and reductions, including eligibility information for free or reduced-price meals. 

    A student shall be responsible for the cost of replacing materials or property which are lost or damaged due to negligence. A student's grades, transcripts or diploma may be withheld until restitution is made by payment or the equivalency through voluntary work. The student or their parents may appeal the imposition of a charge for damages to the Superintendent and Board of directors. 

    The student and their parents shall be notified regarding the nature of the violation or damage, how restitution may be made, and how an appeal may be instituted. When the damages or fines do not exceed $100, the student or their parents will have the right to an informal conference with the principal. As is the case for appealing a short-term suspension, the principal's decision may be appealed to the Superintendent and to the Board of Directors. When damages are in excess of $100, the appeal process for long-term suspension shall apply. 

    If a student has transferred to another school district that has requested the student’s records, but that student has an outstanding fee or fine, only records pertaining to the student’s academic performance, special placement, immunization history, attendance, history of violent behavior, violent offenses, sex offenses, inhaling toxic fumes, drug offenses, liquor violations, assault, kidnapping, harassment, stalking or arson, and discipline actions shall be sent to the enrolling school.  The content of those records will be communicated to the enrolling district within two school days and copies of the records will be sent as soon as possible.  The official transcript will not be sent until the outstanding fee or fine is discharged.  The enrolling school shall be notified that the official transcript is being withheld due to an unpaid fee or fine.  However, for students who meet the definition of homeless, the district will make all the student’s records readily available to the enrolling school regardless of outstanding fees or fines.  

    Cross References:  

    Board Policy 3115         Homeless Students: Enrollment Rights and Services
                      3231         Student Records
                      3241         Student Discipline
                      2020         Course Design, Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials 

    Legal References:     
    42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.    McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act 
    AGO 1965-66, #113         Fees – Tuition – Supplies – Authority of school districts to charge tuition fees or textbook fees
    AGO 1973, No. 11            Tuition & Fees – Authority of school districts to charge various fees

    RCW 28A.225.330         Enrolling students from other districts – Requests for information and permanent records – Withheld transcripts – Immunity from liability – Notification to teachers and security personnel – Rules

    RCW 28A.320.230(f)         Instructional materials – Instructional materials committee

    RCW 28A.330.100         Additional powers of Board

    RCW 28A.635.060         Defacing or injuring school property – Liability of parent or guardian – Withholding grades, diplomas or transcripts – Suspension and restitution – Voluntary work program as alternative – Rights protected

    RCW 28A.220.040         Fiscal support – Reimbursement to school districts – Enrollment fees – Deposit                                                                                 

    Management Resources:        Policy & Legal News         July 2019; May 2018

    Policy News         June 1999 School Safety Bills Impact Policy

    ADOPTED: 12/14/1995

    REVISED:  04/25/96; 08/26/99; 10/26/06; 12/17/20                                                       

    Procedure No. 3520P Student Fees, Fines, Charges

    Student fee schedules for individual buildings must be approved on an annual basis. Each building shall submit an annual report which includes a report indicating the fees collected by each department. In establishing fees for classes, the following guidelines shall be used: 
    1. Class registration literature shall describe fees for each class or activity and the process for obtaining a waiver or fee reduction.

    2. A fee may be collected for any program in which the resultant product is in excess of minimum requirements and, at the student's option, becomes the personal property of the student. Fees may not exceed the cost of the materials. The district shall furnish materials for those introductory units of instruction where a student is acquiring the fundamental skills for the course. A student must be able to obtain the highest grade offered for the course without being required to purchase extra materials.

    3. A fee may be collected for personal physical education and athletic equipment, apparel and towels or towel service. However, any student may provide their own if it meets reasonable requirements and standards relating to health and safety.

    4. A reasonable fee, not to exceed the actual annual maintenance cost, for the use of musical instruments and uniforms owned or rented by the district may be collected.

    5. Students may be required to furnish personal or consumable items including pencils, paper, erasers, notebooks.

    6. Security deposits for the return of materials or equipment may be collected. Provisions shall be made to return the deposit when the student returns the item at the conclusion of the school term.

    7. A fee may be collected for a unit of instruction where the activity necessitates the use of facilities not available on the school premises, and participation in the course is optional on the part of the student. A waiver or fee reduction need not be offered for such activities.

    Fees shall not be levied for: 

    1. Field trips required as part of a basic educational program or course.

    2. Textbooks (nonconsumable) which are designated as basic instructional material for a course of study.

    3. Instructional costs for necessary staff employed in any course or educational program.

    Fee waivers and reductions shall be granted to students whose families would have difficulty paying by reason of their low income. The USDA Child Nutrition Program guidelines shall be used to determine qualification for a fee waiver or reduction.

    Fines or damage charges may be levied for lost textbooks, library books or equipment. In the event the student does not make proper restitution, grades, transcripts and/or diplomas will be withheld.  A student may make restitution through a voluntary work program.  If a student has transferred to another school that has requested the student’s records without paying an outstanding fine or fee, only records pertaining to the student’s academic performance, special placement, immunization history and discipline actions shall be sent to the enrolling school.  This information shall be communicated to the enrolling district within two school days and the confirming records shall be sent as soon as possibleThe official transcript will not be sent until the outstanding fee or fine is discharged.  The enrolling school shall be notified that the official transcript is being withheld due to an unpaid fee or fine.

    A charge for lost or damaged materials or equipment may be appealed to the Superintendent. The Superintendent's decision may be appealed to the Board. Care shall be exercised by advising students and their parents, in writing, regarding the nature of the damages, how restitution may be made, and how a student or their parents may request a hearing. When damages are $100 or less, a parent and/or student has a right to appeal the imposition of a fine in a manner similar to that specified for a short-term suspension (Policy #3322). When damages exceed $100, the parent and/or student may request a hearing in the manner provided for in a long-term suspension (Policy #3324).

    All fees shall be deposited with the business office on a regular basis. The respective departments and schools shall be credited by the amount of their deposit.

    ADOPTED:  09/22/1994
    REVISED: 12/14/95; 07/23/96

3000 Policies