Students & Schools : School Fees

Does the law require schools to waive school fees for low-income students?

Yes.  Ohio has a law that prohibits schools from charging general school fees to students who qualify to receive free school meals under the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.  The Ohio law is found at Ohio Revised Code 3313.642.

Note: this law was changed in July 2009.  The law used to prohibit schools from charging fees to families who receive Ohio Works First or Disability Assistance payments.  The law now prohibits schools from charging school fees to families whose children qualify for free school lunch or breakfast.  Click here to see a copy of the language of the law as amended.  If your child's school is not aware of the change in the law, consult your local legal aid office or the Ohio Department of Education.


What fees does this law apply to?

The law applies to fees for "any materials needed to enable the pupil to participate fully in a course of instruction."  The law does not apply to any fees schools might charge to participate in extracurricular activities or other school-sponsored non-academic activities (like school dances, carnivals, etc.).


How do I know whether my child qualifies to get her fees waived?

If your child already receives free school lunch or breakfast, your child qualifies.  If you child does not currently receive free school lunch, but you would like to apply to get it, you should check with your child's school, which should offer an application for the program.  Click here to see a chart for the 2009-2010 school year showing income eligibility guidelines for the free school meals program.


How do I get my child's school fees waived?

Many schools in Ohio require parents to request that their child's school fees be waived, so it may be your responsibility to call or visit the school to find out the process for making sure you don't have to pay school fees for your child.  The process should be simple and information about it readily available.  If you have any questions, you should call your child's school office or your local Board of Education.

The information in this site is not intended as legal advice.
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