Did people pay for school in ancient Rome?

Yes they people paid for education. Ancient Rome did not have a formal system of education. Children of humble background went to school until the age of 10-11. Teachers set up their own classes for a fee. They held the classes where they could, including in the back of shops, separated from the rest of the shop by just a curtain, and in the street. Elementary classes were run by a teacher called litterator. Children learnt to read and write and basic maths.Children of humble background received only a basic education.

The children with with wealthier parents went through up to three stages of education, and the children of very rich people had private tuition at home.

Children of people who could afford it went to better classes and continued on to the classes run by the grammaticus from the age of 9 to 12 until the age of 14-15. They improved their writing, learnt oration, expressive poetic reading and poetic analysis. Pupils were expected to have some knowledge of spoken and written Greek and classes were bilingual.

A small number of children went on to study with the rhetor. They studied rhetoric.

If you wanted to study further, you went to Greece to study philosophy.