• Civil libertarians stand behind school field trip decision

    Updated:
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Two legal organizations are standing behind a recent guidance document from the Rhode Island Department of Education that bars school districts from charging students for school-sponsored field trips.

    Commissioner Ken Wagner issued the guidance in response to an inquiry from the East Greenwich School Committee.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Legal Services said Wednesday school districts have a long history of trying to charge for extracurricular activities. But the state has always rejected those efforts on the grounds that schools have no authority under state law to impose them and they interfere with the right to a free and equal public education.

    The organizations say "No family of limited means should have to worry about whether they can afford" to an important extracurricular activity.

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