Md. state board looks at school fees
The president of the Maryland State Board of Education is gathering information on classroom fees in public schools, in light of a California lawsuit about what a free public education really means, the Gazette reports.
In a Sept. 28 letter to the 24 public school superintendents in Maryland, state board President James H. DeGraffenreidt Jr. asked them to send the board information about their school systems' policies on charging course-related fees, a list of course-related fees imposed by each school, whether fees can be waived and a description of the waiver process.
"Maryland has a free public education responsibility," DeGraffenreidt wrote in his one-page letter. "Because this is a difficult economic time for school systems and families, school fees may become an issue of concern."
The deadline for superintendents to respond to his letter is Nov. 30.
The issue of school fees has fueled debate in Montgomery County, where parent advocates have long complained about additional fees. In Howard County,officials placed a moratorium on curricular, activity and supply fees in October 2008. Currently in Howard, students may not be charged any classroom fees. Extracurricular fees may be charged for personalized items such as football uniforms and for extracurricular items students keep after their participation is complete.
Read more about the issue of school fees in the Gazette.
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