Charging Students for Calculators
TO: District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public Schools
Administrators of Charter Schools
School Business Officials
FROM: Charles Szuberla, Coordinator
DATE: December 1, 2006
SUBJECT: Charging students for calculators
There have been numerous questions lately regarding the charging of students for calculators. School districts can require students to provide their own student “supplies”. Supplies are defined as something which is consumed in use, loses its appearance and shape in use, is expendable, and is inexpensive. Examples include pencils, pens, paper, etc. Calculators do not fall into this category and must be considered like classroom teaching materials for which school districts are authorized to levy a tax.
The State Education Department requires the use of calculators for intermediate and high school level mathematics and science assessments. To the extent that calculators are a necessary part of the educational program, the school district must provide them. Under no circumstances should students be charged for a calculator or otherwise required to purchase one in order to participate in an educational program.
School districts may purchase, and must still provide calculators, even if operating under a contingent budget if the calculators are required for participation in the educational program.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
cc: Jean C. Stevens