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Idaho lawsuit seeks to block districts in the state from collecting student fees

July 9, 2018
Former state Supreme Court justice says imposing fees on public school students violates the Idaho Constitution.

A former Idaho Supreme Court justice is suing school districts throughout the state in an effort to stop them from imposing fees on students.

The Coeur D'Alene/Post Falls Press reports that former Justice Robert Huntley contends in his lawsuit that charging students fees violates the Idaho Constitution.

Imposing fees "constitutes an unlawful deprivation and taking of private property without due process of law or just compensation," the suit argues.

The class-action suit in names all school districts in Idaho as defendants.

The suit estimates that Idaho school districts assess and collect $20 million annually in fees. Even lists of school supplies that students are directed to purchase are "a form of state coercion of plaintiffs to pay for essential elements of a free public education,” the suit asserts.

“The defendants cannot require one of its citizens to forfeit his or her rights and benefits to a free public education as the price of resisting conformance to state-sponsored school fees and purchasing of ‘essential school supplies’ that will be distributed to and used by all students,” wrote Huntley in the  complaint.

Rather than have school districts charge fees, Huntley says, the state should allocate more funding to public schools.

In the lawsuit, Huntley is seeking an order to stop school districts from charging any more fees and to reimburse students and their parents who have been charged fees since 2012.

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