A new state law banning public school fees has teachers scrambling for supplies, parents in a tizzy over suddenly unaffordable activities and PTAs confused about how to help families.
At Fairlands Elementary in Pleasanton, the fourth-grade visit to Mission San Juan Bautista was nearly canceled. At Oak Grove High in San Jose, math teacher Kim Schaupp printed paper protractors for her geometry students because she was told she couldn’t ask them to bring real ones to class. In Pleasant Hill, middle-school band trips are at risk.
With few exceptions, state law now prohibits schools from charging fees for classroom items and activities and from requiring students to bring materials needed for school. It covers everything from 25-cent pencils and $5 binders to $350 field trips and $500 football uniforms.
I don’t get this, I really don’t. The schools aren’t allowed to require students to pay for their own supplies, the PTA can’t tell poor people that they can help with costs of supplies or fees for extra-curricular activities because that would “single out” the poor people, and evidently parents are supposed to solicit donations if they need help with funds.