Parents of high school students could be getting a big break under a legislative measure that takes aim at killing school fees related to academic classes.

HB163, sponsored by Rep. Craig Frank, R-Pleasant Grove, would prohibit course fees, rental and use fees and textbook fees, while fees for clubs, sports and extracurricular activities would still stand.

Frank said statewide, secondary schools collected $13.1 million from academic fees related to classes that are necessary for graduation or count for credit towards graduation. He is asking for $13.1 million in state money to kick in in lieu of student fees.

"We have constitutionally guaranteed a free education and this will help to make our public education more conformant to our state constitution," Frank said. "Fees related to academic classes that are required for graduation should actually be part of our tax base, not a substantial hit in some cases to parents of secondary education students."

For example, Granite School District's high school fee schedule includes "basic" charges of $60 for books and activities, $40 for vocational classes.

Course fees cannot exceed $35 for art, $5 for computer lab, $10 for drama, fitness for life, music and P.E, $20 for workbooks and $15 for lab materials.

Under the new measure those fees would all be absorbed.

"What this bill says is we are going to treat fees like taxes, which is what they really are in this case," Frank said.


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Contributing: Jennifer Toomer-Cook