Bill would end additional fees for public high school students

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Kat Harris
The Utah legislature has been in session since Jan. 28 (Kat Harris).

A Provo Republican is sponsoring a bill that would end fees for high school students after some Provo High School students complained to him about the fees to participate in everything from advanced placement courses to floral design classes.

Rep. Adam Robertson, R-Provo, is pushing HB273 to cap such fees. Currently, Utah students pay a variety of fees to apply for school and for classes. At Provo High School, classes like photography and floral design each cost $25.

“There are some significant fees. A student from high school last week came and talked with me. He is a model student taking a bunch of AP classes and his total fees just registered to $215, and that’s problematic,” Robertson said.

After adding other fees such as instrument rentals, advanced placement tests and school trips, all of which are above $100, school fees can create burdens on families, according to Robertson.

Students are required to graduate with 27 credits in the Provo School District, which come to about six to eight classes a year. Specific classes required for graduation also have fees ranging from $5 to $100.

Provo High School junior Carter Wininger said his family pays over $600 a year toward school in fees, but that he would prefer to pay them.

“It would be nice to have no fees, but we wouldn’t have the opportunity to do some of the same fun things that we do now, unless the state wanted to pay for it,” Wininger said.

Under HB273, schools would be unable to charge students for field trips nor would it require students to fundraise money.

Robertson said he wants the bill to continue promoting the words in the state constitution dictated that public elementary and secondary schools “shall be free. ”

Although the Constitution says the Legislature may impose fees, Robertson said he believes school fees are out of control.

“So we need to return to that basic principle of providing the next generation education it’s free use without fees, which are effectively a tax on the students,” Robertson said.

HB273 will be presented to the House Education Committee.

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