SD 20 to address busing fees.

SD 20 to address bus funding

SD 20 board will look at options regarding new provincial funding for busing announced this week.

The board of trustees for School District 20 will be calling a special meeting on the heels of this week’s announcement regarding school bus funds.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced on Aug. 10 that the government is offering a new $14.7 million fund to assist with student bus service.

In the fund, which districts have until Sept. 30 to apply for, is $242,977 allocated for SD20. To qualify, school districts would have to drop fees charged to parents for school bus service.

SD20 trustees voted in May to impose a busing fee on families for the upcoming school year at approximately $200 per child with a cap for larger families. Then in June additional funding allowed the district to cut the initial fee in half.

Now, as SD 20 chairperson Teri Ferworn explained, that fee could be eliminated entirely.

Ferworn said many families have come forward to pay the fee and she’s hoping the board accepts the government’s proposal, and fees will be reimbursed.

Ferworn said the on-going pressure from districts, parents and everyone involved helped get the message home to the ministry.

She also pointed to Bernier’s visit to the region in April where he stopped by several schools in the district. Ferworn said the minister saw first hand the challenges the district faces in transporting students.

“We also talked about how difficult it was to charge parents busing fees,” she said.

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