A former school superintendent is suing the state of Idaho on behalf of all parents who have been charged fees by their childrens’ schools. Russell Joki says charging fees violates Idaho’s constitution which requires a free, uniform school system. Joki has been a teacher and administrator in Idaho and Oregon schools and now teaches education classes for the University of Idaho. He says charging fees has become endemic in Idaho schools. He cites his own grandson as an example.
“He was charged fees to take a chemistry class," Joki says. "He was charged a fee to take a sports medicine class. He was charged a fee to be a member of the junior class.”
Joki wants the state to repay parents who have been charged fees. He says filing this suit was a difficult decision because he knows it could hurt schools. But in the long-run he hopes it will help. He says his main goal is to prompt the state to rethink education funding so schools will not feel they have to charge fees.
A spokesman for Idaho's Attorney General's office says they have not yet seen the complaint.