Bussing fees to increase in Red Deer Public district

  • May. 20, 2015 2:54 p.m.

The Red Deer Public School district has voted in favour of increasing bussing fees in hopes of addressing an anticipated $378,952 deficit in its transportation budget.

“We are not an anomaly in the province – most districts are struggling with their transportation budget in some fashion,” said Bev Manning, board chair. “The discussion is that we have suffered with transportation funding for quite some time. It is insufficient. It is disappointing that it is insufficient and we have managed, but we just can’t manage any more, especially in this financial climate.

“It doesn’t make any of us happy to have to charge this fee – we tried to find some different options, but really this is about the only thing we could come up with that was fair to everyone who is using the service.”

Transportation fees for students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 who live under 1.6 km from the school will be charged $300, while students who live between 1.6 km and 2.4 km will be charged $150 and students who live over 2.4 km will pay $75.

Students in Grades 6-12 who live under 2.4 km will pay $300 and students who live over 2.4 km will be charged $75.

In addition to increasing revenue, administration proposed expense reductions and amending service levels to ensure student bussing is operated in the most effective and efficient manner.

Other recommendations included the double-shifting of buses for selected routes which is more efficient. This change would also see a minor adjustment to start and end times at affected schools. The district is also looking at alternatives for students using transportation services and attending Spanish Bilingual and Christian Alternative programs which are programs of choice and do not qualify for the same level of provincial funding.

In developing the recommendation, the district developed a common approach to addressing transportation fees and service levels with counterparts in Red Deer Catholic and Chinook’s Edge School Divisions who are facing similar challenges.

“This has been an ongoing issue for the district. It’s important that our student transportation system be self-sustaining and that is why we need to make these changes,” said Manning. “It means that those using the system will have to contribute to the shortfall. In the past, we have had to redirect funding for instruction to cover the deficit and we simply can no longer do so.”

While the recent provincial election saw a change in government which may impact overall funding for education, the district’s priority would be additional revenue to support instruction rather than transportation services.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony welcomes athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official opening of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

Wilson-Raybould’s cabinet move due to departure from team: Trudeau

Jody Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying

Most Read