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Public school fees are soaring in America

Student figurine in a graduation cap and gown standing next to a calculator
Photo: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

The cost of a public education is increasing annually as some schools flood students and parents with fees to cover everything from alert systems and textbooks to anatomy class cadavers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: "The cost of a free public education is on the rise, as a growing number of districts across the U.S. are charging students for registration, textbooks, the use of libraries and more," the WSJ reports.

Laws that govern school fees differ from state to state.

  • In Texas schools cannot charge fees for textbooks
  • In Indiana schools can attach a price tag to books.
  • Minnesota and Indiana permit districts to pursue legal action to collect fees that go unpaid.

By the numbers: School districts across the country brought in $6 billion in 2017 from student fees, activity costs and more, up 20% from 2002, found the WSJ. The number of schools charging fees also went up form 61% to 71%.