EBR School Board approves policy that will change student fees
BATON ROUGE – On Thursday, The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted to enact a policy that will change the cost of student fees.
The new mandate relieves school principals from the responsibility of setting student fees as they have in the past and shifts the responsibility to the school board and a committee of 12 principals.
According to The Advocate, the School Board conferred with this committee to come up with a few, broad districtwide fees for schools. That said, schools also have the option of not charging any student fees.
Schools who choose to apply the new student fee policy will find additional charges for students taking certain elective courses. Officials are in the process of developing a master list detailing these fees. They hope to have the list posted online in the coming weeks.
The new law also requires all Louisiana public school districts to post their student fees on their websites by December 1. These fees must be consistent across all schools in a district.
The school board backed the new policy with a 7-0 vote, Thursday.
Despite the board’s support, the new policy raised concerns even before its launch as some worried the required fees would be too expensive for needy families.
But officials seemed to keep this in mind while creating the policy. They added a 'hardship waiver' requirement to the new law, meaning schools must provide financially strapped families with the option of consenting to a waiver that would exempt them from paying the student fees.
The law lists a variety of ways families can qualify for the waivers, including receiving food stamps.
Officials say the new policy will not affect students until August, 2020 and that it is subject to revision at any time.