Board Meetings Board Policies Board of Trustees Agenda/Minutes Archive
District Facts Directions to Ed Center District Calendars District Contacts Financial Transparency Portal Get Involved Funding Sources Mission, Vision and WIGs Superintendent
Parent/Student Resources Early Childhood Programs Enrollments/Transfers Frequently Asked Questions Guidelines & Procedures Innovative Programs Receive School News Request Transcripts Online Requirements A-G Resources for Getting Involved School Policies School Safety Student Fees Toll Road Facts Work Permits
School Locator Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools #CapoForward Charter Schools School Recognitions Transitional Kindergarten
Athletics Department Business and Support Services Division Communications Construction Early Childhood Programs Education Services Facilities Food & Nutrition Services Human Resource Services Insurance Department Maintenance & Operations Payroll Purchasing Department Special Education Services Safety & Student Services Student Support Services Technology & Information Services Testing Department Transportation Services VAPA
Adult Education Bridges Community Day High School Capistrano Home School & Capistrano Virtual School Career Preparation - Special Education Career Technical Education Credit Recovery Program English Learner Services FUTUREology (College & Career Counseling) Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE) Language Immersion Learning Link Mathematics Program Post Secondary Programs School Counseling Program State & Federal Programs New Teacher Induction Program
Employee Resources Staff Development Staff Recognitions Teacher Support

Commonly Asked Questions

 

What fees can school charge?

 

 The fees, charges, and deposits that are legally authorized by law are as follows:
 

  • Charges for optional attendance as a spectator at a school or District sponsored activity.
     
  • Charges for food served to students, subject to free and reduced price meal program eligibility and other restrictions specified in the law.
     
  • Paying the replacement cost for District books or supplies loaned to a student that the student fails to return or that is willfully cut, defaced or otherwise injured, up to an amount not to exceed $10,000.
     
  • Fees for field trips and excursions in connection with courses of instruction or school related social, educational, cultural, athletic, or school band activities, as long as no student is prevented from making the field trip or excursion because of lack of sufficient funds.
     
  • Medical or hospital insurance for field trips that are made available by the school district.
     
  • Charges for required medical and accident insurance for athletic team members, so long as there is a waiver for financial hardship.
     
  • Charges for standardized physical education attire of a particular color and design, but the school may not mandate that the attire is purchased from the school and no physical education grade of a student may be impacted based on the failure to wear standardized apparel “arising from circumstances beyond the control” of the student.
     
  • Charges for the parking of vehicles on school grounds.
     
  • Charges for the rental or lease of personal property needed for District purposes, such as caps and gowns for graduation ceremonies.
     
  • Fees for school camp programs, so long as no student is denied the opportunity to participate because of nonpayment of the fee.
     
  • Reimbursement for the direct cost of materials provided to a student for property the student has fabricated from such materials for his/her own possession and use, such as wood shop, art, or sewing projects kept by the student.
     
  • Reimbursement for the actual cost of duplicating public records, student records, or a prospectus of the school curriculum.
     
  • Fees for transportation to and from school, and transportation between school and regional occupational centers, programs or classes, as long as the fee does not exceed the statewide average non-subsidized cost per student and provided there is a waiver provision based on financial need.
     
  • Fees for transportation of pupils to places of summer employment.

 

 

Back to Top

How does this Impact Fundraising?

 

May a school accept donations from parents and guardians?
Yes. Schools may accept donations of funds and property so long as the donation is truly voluntary and is not a requirement for participation in a program or activity. Any statement or explanation related to the donation that could lead a reasonable person to believe that the donation may not be truly voluntary should be avoided. The opportunity to participate in educational programs, including extracurricular activities, must not be linked to either the willingness or the ability of the student or the student’s family to pay a fee or request a fee waiver.

 

May a school solicit donations or engage in fundraising activities?
The law does allow school districts to request voluntary donations and engage in fundraising activities and programs.  An entire school, class, sports team, or club may voluntarily participate in fundraising. These donations and fundraising financial contributions are voluntary, and all students will be allowed to participate in school activities and extracurricular activities regardless of whether the parent or legal guardian makes a donation or contribution.Schools may engage in fundraising activities and programs as long as the raising of funds is voluntary. Schools may require students to attend a fundraising event, but if the students are unable to raise funds for the event the students cannot be prevented from participating in an educational activity.

 

What does this mean for other fundraising organizations, such as PTA and booster clubs?
Because they are connected to the schools, they must also collect money legally.  Parents and students cannot be required to provide specific funds or items and no consequences can be put on a student or family who does not donate. 

 

Can students be recognized for their fundraising efforts?
Yes, students may receive prizes or other non-academic recognition for voluntarily participating in fundraising activities.  However, students may not be singled out for their lack of participation if they who do not fundraise or make donations.

 

Can students be asked to participate in fundraising events?
Students can be expected to attend a fundraising event as an element of participation.  For example, expecting members of a vocal ensemble to attend a fundraising concert that is on its calendar of events does not violate the "free school" guarantee, so long as attendance is the only requirement.  Another example is when members of an athletic team are expected to help out with a fundraising sale at a Back to School Night or Open House, as long as the only requirement is participation in the event.

 

Back to Top

What does the law say?

 

The proposed Education Code (49011[b]) states the following requirements apply to student fees:
 

  1. All supplies, materials, and equipment needed to participate in educational activities shall be provided to pupils free of charge.
  2. A waiver process shall not render an otherwise impermissible fee permissible.
  3. School districts and schools shall not establish a two-tier educational system by requiring a minimal educational standard and also offering a second, higher educational standard that pupils may only obtain through payment of fee or purchase of additional supplies that the school district or a school does not provide.
  4. The school district or a school shall not offer course credit or privileges related to educational activity in exchange for money or donations of goods or services from a pupil or pupil's parents or guardians, and a school district or school shall not renew course credit or privileges related to educational activities, or otherwise discriminate against a pupil, because the pupil or the pupil's parents or guardians did not or will not provide money or donations of goods or services to the school district or a school.

 

 

Section 5 of Article IX of the State of California Constitution guarantees students a “free public education.” The State Supreme Court concluded in the 1984 case of Hartzell v. Connell (35 Cal.3d.899 (1984)), “that all educational activities carried on by public school districts, extra-curricular as well as curricular, must be without cost to the students who participate in such activities.” This same ruling found that “mandatory fees for participating in such extra-curricular activities as drama, music, and athletic competition were illegal under the State Constitution.” Furthermore, they also rejected the argument that “fees could be charged so long as the district waived fees for students who were financially unable to pay.”


Please note that the law does not prohibit a school district or its programs from requesting voluntary donations or fundraising activities and programs.  These donations and fundraising financial contributions are voluntary, and all students will be allowed to participate in school activities and extracurricular activities regardless of whether the parent or legal guardian makes a donation or contribution.

 

Back to Top

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

Website Disclaimer

ATTENTION: The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) does not assume any responsibility or liability for the content that may be present within external Websites linked to and from this site that are operated or created by or for organizations outside of the CUSD. The linking to or from this site does not imply on the part of the CUSD or any of its schools any guarantee of quality, assumption of liability or endorsement of the organizations maintaining external Websites. Those organizations are solely responsible for the operation of their Website and quality of the content including advertisements, links, media, images and text that they may deem appropriate.