The California Constitution mandates that public education be provided to students free of charge, unless a charge is specifically authorized by law for a particular program or activity. This constitutional right of free access encompasses all educational activities, whether curricular or extracurricular, and regardless of whether credit is awarded for the educational activity. The right of free access also prohibits mandated purchases of materials, supplies, equipment or uniforms associated with the activity, as well as the payment of security deposits for access, participation, materials or equipment. A process that allows for a waiver process for an otherwise mandatory fee, charge or deposit does not render it constitutionally permissible.
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