Free Public Schools
Children have a constitutional right to attend free public schools.
Minimum Reasonable Amount
State law allows districts to charge the smallest reasonable amount for enrollment and minor fees.
Districts must consider students’ ability to pay when they set minimum reasonable amounts.
NO FEES OR CHARGES ARE ALLOWED FOR STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE MEALS.
Fees Must be Reduced for Students Eligible for Reduced Priced Meals.
Common School Fees
- Field Trips
- Mandatory Fundraising Goals
Some schools know they must help pay for some field trips and fees but you need to ask for help.
An extension of the classroom is a part of the free public school system.
You will have to pay for extra things like the year book, admission to school dances after school, book fairs, sports, etc.
How to Reduce or Remove Fees
When enrolling ask for an application for free or reduced priced meals.
Write a note or quietly tell the enrollment clerk.
If you are still having a problem, contact the principal.
Write a note to your child’s teacher or homeroom teacher during the beginning of the school year.
If the teacher still requires payment, then contact the Principal.
What Do You Do If You Are Still Having A Problem?
If you are still having a problem, contact the school district and report the problem or apply for legal services.
To locate your district, find a school in your district and for other parent resources
State of South Carolina
For general questions about education:
South Carolina Department of Education
1429 Senate Street, Columbia, SC 29201
If you would like to seek assistance of legal counsel:
SC Bar Lawyer Referral Service
- Special Education
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Student Financial Aid
- Other Education Matters
- Consumer & Bankruptcy
- Federal Income Tax
- Migrant Farm Workers
- Public Benefits
Additional information may be found at:
South Carolina’s guide to free legal resources
This brochure was prepared by South Carolina Legal Services and is provided as a public service.
Copyright retained by South Carolina Legal Services
Printed December 2014
South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide law firm that provides civil legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low-income South Carolinians.
All low-income South Carolinians will have full and fair access to justice.