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The school year is over and you have bought your child all the material required by his teacher.Yet you are still being asked to buy sportswear for gym class.Is that normal?

What additional costs can the school charge you for school materials, outings and other activities?

Free schooling

All Quebec residents are entitled to free preschool, primary and secondary education services.This right exists until the end of the school year in which the pupil turns 18.On the other hand, this gratuity does not extend to everything related to school.The school may charge you a fee for materials, activities and outings.

The equipment

In addition to free educational services, your child has the right to have free access to textbooks and materials required for education.This includes, for example:

Some courses require special materials to teach the subject matter.It is then up to the school to provide the necessary materials and parents should not be involved.For example:

However, it is up to you to provide your child’s personal use materials and anything used for writing, drawing or cutting (pencils, erasers, pencil case, markers, ruler, scissors, activity/exercise book, school bag, etc.).The student must also provide sports clothing for the physical education class.

Special activities and outings

Some fees may be charged to parents for activities and special outings.The school could therefore charge parents for activities that take place at the school but involve the participation of someone who is not a member of the school board’s staff.

This is also the case for outings that involve travel outside the school by any means.These can be educational (museum, hydroelectric power plant or theatre) or recreational (picnic, amusement centre, end of year trip).The amount charged to the parents cannot be higher than the actual cost of the activity.

The cost of extracurricular activities may also be claimed from the parents of students who benefit from them.

Illegal fees: parents compensated

In June 2018, a settlement was reached in a class action involving 68 school boards.Some parents were claiming reimbursement of certain expenses charged without right by the school boards.

The regulation provides that parents will receive net allowances of $24.09 per pupil per school year of attendance between the years 2009-10 or 2010-11 (depending on the school board) and 2016-17.The 68 school boards involved will pay a total of $153,507,134.

For more details, go to ententefraisscolaires.collectiva.ca