Los Angeles schools will have to find a new way to fund extracurricular programs. Currently, many school districts charge activity fees to its students as a way to bring in more funding for the extra programs and activities. Due to a December 2010 lawsuit that ruled it unconstitutional to charge fees for extracurricular activities, school districts will have to come up with a more creative alternative.
The December lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union, claimed that many area districts were illegally charging students for various activities and clubs. According to the lawsuit, it’s illegal to accept these types of fees in a public school district setting. This law is now in effect for activities ranging from sports teams, cheer squads, musical groups, booster clubs and other school community organizations.
Currently, a law is pending which will penalize the school districts that have been illegally charging these fees. The law will also require all educational materials and supplies to be available free of charge.
This will leave many school districts looking for new ways to bring in money for these programs. Many districts are already struggling to keep extra activities and programs available. In order to keep some of these programs, school districts will be looking for donations and volunteer support.
Schools will begin to be audited during the following school year.
Some area schools have already taken steps to get rid of activity fees, and have been successful with a volunteer base. Many of these school districts are able to continue the many extracurricular activities and program without the use of student activity fees.
Unfortunately, many school districts may not be able to get the funding and support that is needed to keep the many programs running. This will make it extremely difficult to have a wide variety of programs and activities for the students.
It will be interesting to see how creative school districts get, when looking for funding options. Hopefully most schools will still be able to provide the same level of programs and activities to students.