Lawsuit Seeks for Idaho Schools to Repay Student Fees
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A class-action lawsuit is seeking for Idaho public schools to repay the fees that many districts have charged students for classes, supplies and activities.
The lawsuit filed earlier this month in federal court claims the fees amount to "a form of coercion to pay for essential and normal elements of a free public education," the Idaho Statesman reported Monday.
The suit focuses on the supply costs and other fees related to specific classes. Among the claims, the suit states that fees affect students in what courses they select and students face pressure from their peers if they cannot afford the fees.
The suit lists its plaintiffs as students and parents at two school districts in eastern Idaho as well as "all similarly situated patrons and students" at 115 school districts and about 50 charter schools in the state.
The lawsuit seeks the repayment of all fees that the school districts have collected since October 2012. The suit estimated that districts charge about $20 million in fees each year.
In addition to recovering the fees, the suit seeks to end the practice in the state, attorney Robert Huntley said. The suit also aims to spur lawmakers into better funding the schools, he said.
"Every candidate for the Legislature, every legislator, every governor, every governor candidate says they support education," Huntley said. "But not one of them comes forward with the means to properly fund schools."
The Boise School District has made an effort to stop charging class fees, and it does not charge students who participate in sports, spokesman Dan Hollar said. The Boise district also has more funding options available than what most other districts have, he said.