School Fees

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South Carolina public schools can charge fees for things that add to your child’s education.

Many of these fees are charged at the beginning of the year when students enroll. Some fees may also come up during the school year for field trips and additional activities. Fees are usually more expensive for students in high school than in lower grades. Below are some things to keep in mind when thinking about paying for your child’s school fees:

  • If you qualify for reduced lunch, the school must lower your fees. You may want to talk to school officials about this before the school year even begins to make sure they have been reduced.
  • If you qualify for free lunch, you do not have to pay any school fees when you enroll your child. You also should not have to pay for any additional programs or activities, like field trips.
  • No school can refuse to enroll your child or promote your child because you can’t pay fees.
  • School supply lists can be considered school fees. If you cannot provide your child and his or her class with the supplies on the list, talk to your child’s teacher and school officials.

Schools typically charge fees for:

  • Field Trips
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • Club Memberships
  • School Supplies
  • Advanced/Specialized Classes (Driver’s Ed; Gifted and Talented Programs)

This is not all the information you need to know if you have questions about school fee laws in our state. You may want to talk to a lawyer about your individual situation.

Revised November 2012
Copyright retained by South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center. For permission to reproduce this brochure contact SC Appleseed P.O. Box 7187 Columbia, SC 29202
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