FIRST ON 3: Fees Go Down at 8 Hamilton County Schools - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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FIRST ON 3: Fees Go Down at 8 Hamilton County Schools

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By David Carroll


CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- School fees will be decreased at seven Hamilton County schools, and will disappear entirely from another in the 2010-11 school year.

The School Board is expected to approve a recommendation from Supt. Jim Scales on Thursday that would set the fee schedule for school supplies, as well as parking, band and athletic fees.

According to the recommendation Howard School of Academics and Technology would no longer request the general school fees, which are not mandatory.  In the 2009-10 school year, Howard's fee was $ 20.

Rivermont Elementary's fee has dropped from $40 to $ 15.  Harrison Elementary's fee has dropped from $ 60 to $ 40.  Tyner Middle Academy's fee has dropped from $ 50 to $ 40.

Fees at Brainerd High, Red Bank Middle, Soddy-Daisy Middle and Hardy Elementary are dropping five dollars each.

Lookout Mountain Elementary and Normal Park Upper and Lower have the highest fees, at $75 each.

To see the entire list click here.

Subject area fees range from $1.50 to $ 229.  Parking permits range from $25 to $ 80, although the list of individual schools was not provided.  Band related fees range from $ 10 to $ 450.

General school fees cover a variety of items, including but not limited to copiers, paper and related items.

In 2009, the Tennessee Department of Education clarified the policy, informing parents that school fees are voluntary, not mandatory:

 "School fees are governed by state law and rule, and local board of education policy. Only those fees authorized by the local board of education may be charged, and payment of "school fees" may not be a condition to attending the public school or using its equipment. (TCA § 49-2-110(c)). In other words, no student may be required to pay school fees as a condition of attending school. Statutes (TCA § 49-2-114) and State Board of Education Rules define what may be included in school fees. State Board Rule 0520-1-3-.03(14), available online. This rule notes, for example, that schools may request, but no students may be required to pay a fee "for activities and supplies required to participate in all courses offered for credit or grade, including interscholastic athletics and marching band if taken for credit in accordance with local board policies."

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