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School fee task force previews new rules for extracurricular activities to Utah State Board of Education

Posted at 5:33 PM, Nov 01, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Board of Education is discussing how to deal with the recent findings of an audit that found students are being charged excessive fees for extracurricular activities.

During their meeting Thursday, the state Board of Education shared their thoughts and feelings about the findings of the audit and discussed some preliminary solutions.

The auditor presented and detailed its findings to the board, highlighting instances where students were charged as much as $2,500 to participate in sports and other extra curricular activities. Doing this is illegal after a 1994 court injunction said Utah public schools weren't allowed to prevent students from participating in extracurricular activities simply due to financial restrictions.

After the audit was released over a month ago, the state Board of Education formed a school fee task force dedicated to forming new rules and regulations to prevent school districts from charging what some say are exorbitant fees.

While the final rules and regulations are still being decided, the task force did present a preview to the board on Thursday. Board of Education Chairman Mark Huntsman said they essentially outlined some of the proposed consequences if districts and charter schools don't comply.

"This is all still in the draft format but it is significant enough that it gives the task force direction in a short time line so that we can act responsibly and quickly to a pretty significant concern," Huntsman said.

The three consequences include: preventing districts from charging fees, withholding funds, or forcing the districts to refund the money to families.

The action passed unanimously Thursday, but the real meat of the rules and regulations that will be decided by the school fee task force won't be released until December.