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Public School Education Still Can Charge Fees — What to do if you Can’t Afford Them

Question: As a single parent with a modest income, do I qualify for a school waiver to avoid paying fees, including textbooks?

Answer: The Illinois Constitution states that public school education should be free through the secondary level; however, schools can still charge fees for items such as registration, books, and school breakfasts and lunches. According to the Illinois School Code, school boards should waive all district fees for children whose parents can’t afford to pay them. All schools have a form you can fill out to request that your fees be waived.   For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit