Section 16-36-69

Use of textbooks.

(a) All textbooks furnished free of charge to pupils shall be the property of the local board of education, as long as textbook funds are expended as prescribed by law.

(b) When distributed to pupils the textbooks shall be retained for normal use only during the period they are engaged in a course of study for which the textbooks are selected. At the completion of each course of study or otherwise at the instructions of the principal or teacher in charge, the textbooks shall be returned as directed. A receipt shall be required from each pupil, parent, or guardian upon issuance of any textbook, which receipt shall be retained until the return of the textbook.

(c) The parent, guardian, or other person having custody of a child to whom textbooks are issued shall be held liable for any loss, abuse, or damage in excess of that which would result from the normal use of the textbooks. In computing the loss or damage of a textbook which has been in use for a year or more, the basis of computation shall be a variable of 50 to 75 percent of the original cost of the book to the local board of education. If the parent, guardian, or person having custody of the child to whom the textbook was issued fails to pay the assessed damages within 30 days after notification, the student shall not be entitled to further use of the textbooks until remittance of the amount of loss or damage has been made.

(d) All remittances for damages or from the sale of textbooks shall be deposited to the credit of the local textbook fund and shall be used for the repair, maintenance, and replacement of textbooks.

(e) The respective local boards of education may waive the payment as provided in this section if in their judgment the respective parent or guardian is not financially able to make the payment. The local system shall contribute from local funds sums equal to the amount waived.

(f) Pupils enrolled in the public schools or any parent or guardian of the pupil may buy textbooks at the price paid for them by the local board of education. All contracts made with publishers shall so provide. Each local board of education may provide for the sale of such textbooks as may be needed by pupils for whose grades or courses free textbooks are not furnished. Sale of these textbooks may be made by the local board of education in the school system of which the pupil is enrolled. The local board of education may make such sales through a designated employee or agent thereof. No handling charge allowed from the sale shall inure to any member, officer, or employee of any local board of education.

(g) All books issued by the separate schools and school systems may be used by pupils to whom issued in the same manner and to the same extent as though the books were owned by the pupils, their parents, or guardians as the case may be, except that such pupils, parents, or guardians shall be liable for such loss or damage to books as provided in this section and for the return of the textbook.

(h) Any local agent, dealer, clerk, or other person handling or selling the books adopted as school textbooks, who shall demand or receive for any copy of any of the books so adopted more than the contract price shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall for each offense be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

(Act 98-320, p. 544, §10.)