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April 01, 2002  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Parents Resist Paying for ‘Free Service’

Anoka-Hennepin School District in Coon Rapids, Minn., heard from some frustrated parents on Monday, April 8, when a new transportation policy took effect. The parents are upset because the district has extended the walking distance from 1 to 2 miles to help defray a $10 million budget shortfall. Students who no longer qualify for transportation can pay $50 to ride the bus for the rest of the school year. Otherwise, they’ll have to find another way of getting to and from school. As of April 8, approximately one-third of the 15,000 affected students signed up for bus service, according to a local radio station. Parents reportedly organized a protest to demonstrate the dangers of walking to school along some of the more hazardous routes. A school district spokesperson said the new policy reflects the emphasis on a pay-as-you-go model that has been created by a move toward less government and lower taxes. The school district mailed maps to parents that illustrated safe walking routes and added crossing guards. Starting next year, the full-year fee for busing service will be $200.

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