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Fiscal Management Advisory 15-01

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter

FISCAL MANAGEMENT ADVISORY 15-01

DATE:           January 20, 2015

TO:               County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators

FROM:          Richard Zeiger, Chief Deputy Superintendent

SUBJECT:    Pupil Fees: Parent Service Hours

Questions have arisen recently as to whether school districts or schools, including charter schools, can require parents to do work as a condition of allowing their child to enroll or otherwise receive an educational benefit or service at a school.  This memo is intended to augment Fiscal Management Advisory (FMA) 12-02, Pupil Fees, Deposits, and Other Charges, dated April 24, 2013.

As noted in FMA 12-02 (in regular font):

A school district or school, including a charter school, shall not offer or remove course credit or privileges related to educational activities based on whether or not the school receives money or donations of goods or services from a pupil or a pupil’s parents or guardians.  EC Section 49011(b)(4).

(This bars a school district or school from requiring “volunteer hours” or payment of a fee in lieu of performing volunteer hours as a condition of admission, enrollment, continued enrollment, sibling preference, attendance, participation in educational activities or receipt of credit or privileges related to educational activities.)

A fee waiver policy shall not make a fee permissible.  EC Section 49011(b)(2).

A school district or school, including a charter school, can solicit voluntary donations of funds or property, and voluntary participation in fundraising activities.   EC Section 49011(c).

(This permits a school district or school to request that parents volunteer a specific number of hours per school year, and to identify the benefits to the school district or school as a result of these truly volunteer services.)

This Advisory reflects current law on this specific issue, and supersedes any previous communication regarding this specific issue.

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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