Did parents approve bus fee hike?

In a recent media report on the transportation fee increase, and in the transportation fee report, the CBE says that parents surveyed support an end to subsidies for transportation from instructional dollars. Calvin Davies, director of CEOP (Community Engagement and Operational Planning) was also quoted in another article as saying, “We toyed around with charging people differentiated rates based on income, but our stakeholder groups told us everybody should pay the same, keep it equal.”

As the only public information of this stakeholder feedback that we have access to is the 2011-2012 budget survey responses, let’s see what the 1,455 respondents had to say regarding this issue of transportation fees. As the released responses do not include the full survey and the responses given, despite a request from ARTICS to do so, we cannot confirm if the exact question, “Do you support subsidizing transportation fees from instructional dollars?” was on the survey. However, we will assume it was and that the response was overwhelmingly in the negative. I am sure that had the question been changed to, “Do you support subsidizing administration/learning innovation/leasing costs/legal opinions/consultants/etc. from instructional dollars?”, the answer would have also been overwhelmingly in the negative. I know this because what was made very clear in the released survey responses was that stakeholders want as many dollars going into classroom instruction as possible, as indicated by the top three budget priorities being, “Maintain class sizes” at all grade levels.

The only place where transportation fees are mentioned in the survey responses is in the last section under, “Preferred Methods to Increase Revenue.” Here, stakeholders were clear that the LAST source of increased revenues should be from fees, whether school based, transportation or lunchroom.

To be clear, ARTICS will not comment as to whether the proposed transportation fee hike is necessary or not. Our mandate is to promote open and transparent information so that stakeholders can properly inform themselves. However, we do question whether or not the CBE is correct in stating that parents surveyed support their current course of action based on the information we have in the budget survey.

6 thoughts on “Did parents approve bus fee hike?

  1. The only other public input into fees was done at a CEOP Engagement on Noon Supervision Feees. You can read the round table comments on the Scenarios and Values worksheets we were given. I went to this engagement and I can say that some of the spin on the Noon Supervision and Transportation Fees has been taken from comments made at that meeting in Feb. The parent responses don’t necessarily reflect what is in the media as the final report was the summation of all stakeholder groups. Parent represent 1/3 of the input from my recollection…

  2. I think it was about 30. Further, Calvin Davies told us that there was a lunchroom supervisors/school admin ass’t group and I think it was a principals group. So the feedback from all groups was then presented to Superintendent Teams.

  3. I think that CBE needs to find a solution to this funding issue. Paying ludicrous bussing fees isn’t the answer. Low income families cannot afford to pay such costs ~ the kids mouths need to be fed! Also I am currently having a serious issue with CBE buses trying to TAXI my son home at there expense!? Why would there be a transportation fee put into place if funds are being spent foolishly? A one way taxi trip to my house is at least $30.00 ~ also it screams “danger” to me. There must be another solution?

  4. AHHHHHHH! I AM FILLING OUT THE BUSSING FORMS AND THE TOTAL IS MORE THAN MY MORTGAGE. I HAVE 4 CHILDREN 13,11,9,AND 7. THE OLDEST AND THE YOUNGEST RIDE THE BUS TOGETHER SO THEY HAVE TO STOP AT THESE PLACES ANY WAY. I CAN’T AFFORD $1200 EXTRA DOLLARS A YEAR. WHAT CAN I DO?

    1. I’m afraid that all I can tell you to do is to contact your trustee. If you are low-income, you may be eligible for a waiver. The CBE has promised to have a full review of all fees in the Fall and I would encourage you to participate.

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