News Release: USBE Begins Overhaul of School Fees Practices

December 6, 2018
For Immediate Release

Contact:  Emilie Wheeler, public information officer
801-707-8421 | Emilie.wheeler@schools.utah.gov

Utah State Board of Education Begins Overhaul of School Fees Practices

Board adopts task force recommendations, moves new rule forward

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah State Board of Education on Thursday adopted all of the recommendations from the Board’s School Fees Task Force, a group of education and policy stakeholders who met in 12 four-hour sessions this year to work to address issues and update laws and rules surrounding public school fees in Utah.

Among them are recommendations the Board pursue changes to statute or rule on a variety of issues, including modifying the definition of “textbook” and provisions related to uniforms, giving the Board the authority to suspend a district or school’s right to charge fees, and the creation of a funding program to support equalization of fee waivers.

The task force, created in March 2018 and chaired by Board Chair Mark Huntsman, vigorously discussed issues related to a 1994 court injunction regarding school fees in Utah, two separate audits conducted on school fees, and R277-407, Utah’s administrative rule on school fees.

In October, the task force successfully recommended the Board identify dedicated full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) to work on school fees monitoring, compliance, and training as outlined in the existing R277-407. Additionally, the task force outlined a corrective action plan for the Board’s use when schools or districts are non-compliant with the school fees rule, and it was adopted in November.

The task force also presented a draft for an updated Administrative Rule R277-407 that contains recommended revisions to replace the existing rule, and the Board voted to move the draft to one of its standing committees for review and recommendations.

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