Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Higher bus fees rejected by school board - Calgary - CBC News

Public school board trustees have rejected a large increase in school bus fees.
Calgary Board of Education administrators had recommended a 60 per cent fee hike to cover higher costs, but on Tuesday night the public school trustees voted down the proposal.
The recommendation would have cost parents of an elementary or junior high student $33.50 per month, up from $20 to ride the same bus this year. Senior high students wouldn't have seen any change to their monthly bus fees.
Chair Pat Cochrane looked at all the numbers and then shook her head.
"I am not comfortable simply saying to parents you have to pony up a 60 per cent increase in one year. I think we have to have a plan to do it over time."
Added trustee Pamela King: "When we actually are talking about increasing fees and decreasing services, as a parent it frustrates me and as a consumer it frustrates me. I don't think it is acceptable for us to be doing that."
Two of the seven trustees decided to leave the room when the fees were debated, citing conflict of interest reasons.
Parent Larry Leach, who attends most school board meetings, said he was pleased by the rejection of the fee hikes, but he expects parents will pay more for their children's school bus rides in the near future.
Administration will now come up with other options to cover those higher busing costs and the trustees will look at them next month.

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