California's Constitution affirms that students and parents cannot be required to pay money to gain access to educational activities, nor can they be charged for materials and supplies necessary to participate in educational activities.
“Educational activities” has been clearly defined to include extracurricular offerings such as music, sports and some clubs. Moreover, the rules described above are believed to apply to all affiliated groups supporting district and school programs, including PTAs, boosters and foundations.
In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state over impermissible fees, charges and deposits imposed on public school students. Two years later, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that codified existing laws and judicial decisions while establishing reasonable enforcement measures for schools and districts.The ACLU subsequently dropped its suit.
It should be noted that IUSD was in the process of analyzing its own practices even before the ACLU suit, looking specifically at funding requests that were made to help offset the cost of transportation, elective courses, summer school classes and essential supplies and equipment. The district has since worked to clarify that parent donations for most educational activities are voluntary, and that students will not be denied participation if their families choose not to contribute.
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