State law requires fees for participation, but provides for waivers or a cap on the amount of money to be collected.
Iowa Administrative Code 281-18.2 Fee policy.
The board of directors of a public school shall adopt a policy regarding the charging and collecting of fees for course offerings and related activities, and for transportation provided to resident students who are not entitled to transportation under Iowa Code section 285.1. The policy established by the board of directors shall apply to any fees charged. The board shall require that procedures be developed to implement the policy pursuant to these rules.
Iowa Administrative Code 281-18.3 Eligibility for waiver partial waiver or temporary waiver of student fees.
18.3(1) Waivers. At minimum, the policy shall include the following provisions relating to eligibility for the waivers:
- a.Waiver. A student shall be granted a waiver of all fees covered by this chapter if the student or the student's family meets the financial eligibility criteria for free meals offered under the Child Nutrition Program, or the Family Investment Program (FIP), or transportation assistance under open enrollment provided under 281--subrule 17.9(3), or if the student is in foster care.
- b. Partial waiver. A school district shall grant a student either a waiver of all student fees or a partial waiver of student fees if the student or the student's family meets the financial eligibility criteria for reduced price meals offered under the Child Nutrition Program. A partial waiver shall be based on a sliding scale related to an ability to pay.
- c. Temporary waiver. At the discretion of the school district, a student may be granted a temporary waiver of a fee or fees in the event of a temporary financial difficulty in the student's immediate family. A temporary waiver may be applied for and granted at any time during a school year. The maximum length of a temporary waiver shall be one year.
- d. Fees waived not collectable. The policy shall include a provision stating that when an application for any fee waiver is granted, the fee or fees waived under the application are not collectable.
- e. Distribution of policy and applications. The procedures on charging fees, a written notice of fees charged to each student, the waiver and reduction policy and procedures including income guidelines, and the application for waiver shall be distributed to all registrants for school at the time of registration or enrollment. For students or families whose primary language is other than English, the school shall provide a copy of the materials in the student's native language or arrange for translation of the materials within a reasonable time.
- f. Annual application. The request for a fee waiver shall be made on application forms provided by the department of education. An application can be received at any time but shall be renewed at the beginning of the school year.
Iowa Code 256.7 Duties of State Board.
- Adopt rules that require the board of directors of a school district to waive school fees for indigent families.