I applaud Drew Chamberlain's letter from Aug. 9. It's refreshing to see someone willing to examine school-fee legitimacy.
A "user" fee is determined by use of something such as a state or federal park or facility. If you don't desire to use it, you don't pay. Unlike visiting a federal park, school attendance is not voluntary. School fees should not be termed as "user" fees. To mandate attendance, the state must provide methods to facilitate it.
I agree that our schools do not have the funding they need. Yet it is inappropriate for individual school districts or schools to fund themselves. School fees are not levied by the state, and I have yet to see any law that grants the districts power to collect or enforce their fees.
Perhaps a more viable solution is to examine what the schools need and their current funding. If they have the need, then other state fund must be reallocated.
Every citizen has a duty to question the authority of the fee collector. If we find the authority to be illegitimate, we are then responsible to take action. Citizens who shirk this responsibility are the ones who cheat themselves and steal from others.