Public schools that face budget shortfalls have started to charge students fees to take necessary courses and use textbooks. Not so far ago a civil liberties group has sued California over the fees which rapidly increase. This group argues that the state is no longer protecting the right to free public education and parents have no other choice as to file such suits.
The suit, which will be filed in a state court in Los Angeles this Friday, instituted by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California lists 35 school districts across California showing the fees the schools charge for such courses as art, home economics and music as well as for materials (e.g. gym uniforms). The suit has two plaintiffs – students from high schools in Orange County. ” Since the late 1970s, courts in most states have seen lawsuits concerning the education equity between rich and poor districts
Mark Rosenbaum, the A.C.L.U.’s legal director in Southern California, noted in his essay: “We found that the charging of fees for required academic courses is rampant”.
Michael P. Griffith, a school finance analyst at the Education Commission of the States said: “What’s new here is that this is not about funding levels for education, but about whether districts are charging kids to get a public education. That’s a brand-new argument. I wouldn’t be surprised to see groups in other states adopt the same line of reasoning.”This year in San Diego a grand jury investigated similar reports and came to a conclusion that the fees were prohibited under California law: “Student fees are charged in almost all district schools.”