Students who are eligible for the federal meal program cannot be billed for supplies or fees.

Has your child’s school sent home a bill for supplies and fees, and you are unable to pay? While the charges might be presented as mandatory, in some cases they are not.

According to Ohio law, schools cannot charge the families of children who are eligible for the federal free lunch program for materials that are required to participate in a course of instruction. This could include supplies, textbooks, technology fees and insurance costs for any class at a public school; fees for use of a tablet, laptop or similar device; vocational fees; or educational service center fees.

Courses covered by this law include required courses, electives, career-technical classes or other courses where a student could earn academic credit. To learn more about the law, check out this Q&A from the Ohio Department of Education. 

For information about the federal free and reduced priced school meals program and its eligibility requirements, here’s a primer. 

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