West Ada trustees to revisit class fees

Two months after a district judge declared the West Ada School District’s student fees void, trustees could get rid of them.

A discussion of class fees is on Tuesday’s school board agenda.

West Ada district logoThe fee lawsuit dates back to October 2012 — and was spearheaded by Russell Joki, elected to the board in May.

In November, District Judge Richard Greenwood sided with Joki, saying the class fees violated the state Constitution, and its mandate to provide a uniform system of free public schools. “(Parents) should not be forced to choose … whether one child may take advanced placement history or another take heavy duty diesel repair when they cannot afford both,” Greenwood wrote at the time.

It will be up to Joki’s four school board colleagues to decide the fate of the fees; he has recused himself from past discussions of the issue.

For West Ada — Idaho’s largest school district, with one of the lowest per-pupil spending rates in the state — class fees are no trivial line item. The $10 to $50 fees bring in about $850,000 a year, district spokesman Eric Exline told Meridian Press last week.

Trustees have a busy agenda Tuesday. Also on the docket: a discussion of new Superintendent Mary Ann Ranells’ contract. Ranells was hired on Dec. 15 — but contract details were not finalized when the hire was made.