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Utah Board Of Education To Push For Big Changes In School Fees

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah State Board of Education voted Thursday to pursue five recommendations made by a special task force that reviewed how school fees were being charged by schools across the state.

“A free and public education message is out there,” Board Chair Mark Huntsman said after the meeting.

Mark Huntsman

The board voted to seek out several changes to state laws and statutes, including:

  1. Being able to suspend a school district or governing body’s ability to charge certain fees.
  2. A provision that would make it so fees could not be charged for textbooks, unless they’re for AP courses, or special concurrent enrollment courses. Also that those fees be made waivable for certain income groups.
  3. Legislation to prohibit prescribed uniforms at elementary schools.
  4. Legislation to create funding to offset the loss of revenue from waived fees.

The funding to offset waived fees however would not be unlimited, meaning some schools that might charge high fees for some extracurricular activities may have to lower those fees as a result. Huntsman points out that board members will now have to work closely with the state legislature to get those changes in place. During that process, a lot of changes are likely to take place. He says nothing is set in stone yet, but that some school districts are already getting the message, and making changes to make fees more fair.

“This is the beginning,” Huntsman said. “This draft rule will come out in committee, and will have lengthy discussions before it’s accepted.”

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