NEW JERSEY 101.5

A New Jersey legislator has re-introduced a measure to prohibit school boards from charging extracurricular activity fees to students, their parents, or legal guardians.

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"Recently, it again has presented itself where a couple of school boards were considering requiring parents to pay more than they're already paying with their property taxes," said Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-West Deptford). "If we start to allow these fees to be imposed, there are going to be some parents that can pay and some that can't."

Burzichelli wants to make sure that what's now a small problem in the Garden State doesn't become a widespread one. He acknowledged most schools have resisted charging the fees, and some backed off the idea after parents learned about it.

"If these programs are valuable to a student's well-rounded public education, then they should be available to all without an extra charge, because parents are paying enough as it is," said Burzichelli. "We're talking about extracurricular activities, and that goes from theater to band to football to badminton."

Imposing these fees, according to Burzichelli, is tantamount to an a la carte charge for parents -- one which makes public education unequal for some.