Palo Alto's plan to "retain" illegal summer school tuition violates state law
Original post made by Curious on Jun 6, 2013
The district's decision to withhold refunds unless parents request them puts the City of Palo Alto in a difficult position. The City acts as PAUSD's "fiscal agent" by collecting summer school tuition and processing refunds. The City now must decide how to respond to the fact that hundreds of parents are owed refunds of illegal fees it collected on behalf of the school district. The large majority of the parents involved are residents of Palo Alto.
The district email, sent by Chief Business Officer Cathy Mak, tells parents that if parents do not explicitly request a refund the district "will retain your payment as a donation." (see Web Link). The school district collected $368,000 in summer school tuition in 2012 (see Web Link).
For background on the district's decision to offer refunds, see Web Link.
The statute, part of the California Education Code, requires that a district that has charged illegal feels must make "reasonable efforts...to ensure full reimbursement to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians." The State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt regulations at its next meeting in July that define "reasonable efforts" as including "sending reimbursement by first class mail to the pupil's last known primary address." (see Web Link). The regulations do not provide for retaining illegal fees as a donation.
If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.
Palo Alto quietly gets new evening food truck market
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 2,756 views
On Tour - The Highly Selective Liberal Arts Colleges: Occidental, Pitzer, and Scripps
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,718 views
Candidate Kickoff Events: Public, not just for supporters
By Douglas Moran | 6 comments | 827 views