Authority to Charge Fees
Texas Education Code
Authority to Charge Fees
The board of trustees of an independent school district may require payment of:
a fee for materials used in any program in which the resultant product in excess of minimum requirements becomes, at the student’s option, the personal property of the student, if the fee does not exceed the cost of materials;
membership dues in student organizations or clubs and admission fees or charges for attending extracurricular activities, if membership or attendance is voluntary;
a security deposit for the return of materials, supplies, or equipment;
a fee for personal physical education and athletic equipment and apparel, although any student may provide the student’s own equipment or apparel if it meets reasonable requirements and standards relating to health and safety established by the board;
a fee for items of personal use or products that a student may purchase at the student’s option, such as student publications, class rings, annuals, and graduation announcements;
a fee specifically permitted by any other statute;
a fee for an authorized voluntary student health and accident benefit plan;
a reasonable fee, not to exceed the actual annual maintenance cost, for the use of musical instruments and uniforms owned or rented by the district;
a fee for items of personal apparel that become the property of the student and that are used in extracurricular activities;
a parking fee or a fee for an identification card;
a fee for a driver training course, not to exceed the actual district cost per student in the program for the current school year;
a fee for a course offered for credit that requires the use of facilities not available on the school premises or the employment of an educator who is not part of the school’s regular staff, if participation in the course is at the student’s option;
a fee for a course offered during summer school, except that the board may charge a fee for a course required for graduation only if the course is also offered without a fee during the regular school year;
a reasonable fee for transportation of a student who lives within two miles of the school the student attends to and from that school, except that the board may not charge a fee for transportation for which the school district receives funds under Section 48.151 (Transportation Allotment)(d);
a reasonable fee, not to exceed $50, for costs associated with an educational program offered outside of regular school hours through which a student who was absent from class receives instruction voluntarily for the purpose of making up the missed instruction and meeting the level of attendance required under Section 25.092 (Minimum Attendance for Class Credit or Final Grade); or
if the district does not receive any funds under Section 48.151 (Transportation Allotment) and does not participate in a county transportation system for which an allotment is provided under Section 48.151 (Transportation Allotment)(i), a reasonable fee for the transportation of a student to and from the school the student attends.
The board may not charge fees for:
instructional materials, workbooks, laboratory supplies, or other supplies necessary for participation in any instructional course except as authorized under this code;
field trips required as a part of a basic education program or course;
any specific form of dress necessary for any required educational program or diplomas;
the payment of instructional costs for necessary school personnel employed in any course or educational program required for graduation;
library materials required to be used for any educational course or program, other than fines for lost, damaged, or overdue materials;
admission to any activity the student is required to attend as a prerequisite to graduation;
admission to or examination in any required educational course or program; or
Students may be required to furnish personal or consumable items, including pencils, paper, pens, erasers, notebooks, and school uniforms, except that students who are educationally disadvantaged may be required to furnish school uniforms only as provided by Section 11.162 (School Uniforms).
The board may not charge a fee under Subsection (a)(12) for a course to which Section 28.003 (Educational Program Access) applies.
This section does not prohibit the operation of a school store in which students may purchase school supplies and materials.
A school district shall adopt reasonable procedures for waiving a deposit or fee if a student or the student’s parent or guardian is unable to pay it. This policy shall be posted in a central location in each school facility, in the school policy manual, and in the student handbook.
This section does not prohibit a board of trustees from charging reasonable fees for goods and services provided in connection with any postsecondary instructional program, including career and technology, adult, veterans’, or continuing education, community service, evening school, and high school equivalency programs.
For a fee charged under Subsection (a)(15), the school district must provide a written form to be signed by the student’s legal guardian stating that this fee would not create a financial hardship or discourage the student from attending the program. The school district may only assess the fee if the student returns the signed form.