Apart from setting aside 25% of their seats for Class 1 or pre-primary for students from the economically weaker and disadvantaged classes from June, private schools will have to bear the cost of educating these students, if their fees are more than the amount that will be reimbursed by the state.
They are more than likely to pass on the burden to their other students by hiking fees.
"It is understood that the schools will need to take care of additional costs. We will give schools between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 10,000 per student [per year]," said Rajendra Darda, state education minister, after meeting chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday.
"Admissions will have to take place as per Supreme Court guidelines, where schools will need to have kept 25% seats aside for all admissions taking place after the [April 12] order."
Chavan said the state has yet to determine the number of students who will fit into the category and the financial cost, but said it should not exceed Rs. 100 crore.
"We want to set up a fool-proof system that will not leave schools the opportunity to challenge us legally," he said.
According to a senior education official, the schools will not be able to pass on their financial burden because of the School Fee Regulation Act.
Education department officials said a meeting with the CM is scheduled on Tuesday to sort out what defines weaker sections and how much money will be set aside, which will then be put up in the Cabinet meeting later this week.
The official admitted that there is confusion about how schools that begin at pre-primary levels can be brought under the Act, which only covers Class 1 to Class 8.
"There is also the issue of what happens to these students after they complete Class 8 and who will bear their costs," he said.
At least 90% of the schools in the state are government aided, so the problem of excess fees will affect only around 10,000 private schools, the official said.
The state also expects the issue of a huge migration of students from government to private schools.