Hoover City Schools board rescinds an April 2014 vote that would have created a mandatory fee to ride the school bus. The vote on the proposed fee was contingent upon approval from the U.S. District Court, which never came.
Hoover (Ala.) City Schools would likely have seen afternoon pickup times almost double at about one-quarter of its schools if it had moved forward with a plan to eliminate school bus service.
Franklin Township Schools’ Flora Reichanadter will question a court of appeals decision that public school buses are a constitutional right, asking how bus fees could be illegal if the state legislature reacted to them by banning them and outlining formal procedures for school districts to cut transportation.
The Indiana Court of Appeals had ruled that Franklin Township Community School Corp. violated the state constitution when it arranged for an outside company to transport students for a fee. The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
After voters declined referendums to raise property taxes to increase revenues for schools, Franklin Township in Indianapolis tried discontinuing their school bus service and contracting with a private firm to transport students, charging parents a fee for the service. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the township violated the state constitution.
The one-time funding allocation from the Peace River Regional District in British Columbia will go toward the cost of transporting students in rural areas during the 2014-15 school year. The funding eliminates the need for those rural families to pay a transportation fee.
The Indiana Court of Appeals decides that transportation is part of the public education system and that Franklin Township Community School Corp. violated the state constitution when it ended bus service and arranged for an outside company to transport students for a fee. The court points to a state mandate for schools to bus homeless, foster-care, special-needs and some private-school students.
Hoover City Schools' plan to charge fees for student transportation is now being targeted for the 2015-16 school year instead of 2014-15. The plan outlines a fee structure that ranges from $0.43 to $2.26 per day, depending on how many student riders a family has and whether they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Hoover (Ala.) City Schools' board votes to implement school bus ridership fees for the 2014-15 school year, pending approval by the U.S. District Court. In a memorandum proposing the fees, Superintendent Andy Craig says a fee-based system would help the district “address the financial challenges we are facing.”
The service for regular-education students at Hoover City Schools was set to end with the 2014-15 school year, but Superintendent Andy Craig and school officials are now exploring ways to continue offering the service with the district’s own bus fleet and drivers and to charge students a fee to ride the bus. Craig says that the ability for the district to both receive state allocation for transportation and collect fees from bus riders was the primary factor in this latest decision.
Lake County (Fla.) Schools students who lost courtesy bus service because they live within 2 miles of their schools will now be able to pay a $1 or $2 fee to ride the bus. Additionally, the district will restore free bus service for students within the 2-mile zones who have dangerous walking routes that include crossing roadways with high speeds or multiple lanes.
The fee will be higher starting with the upcoming school year. The South Sioux City (Neb.) district is looking for a way to balance its transportation budget; it was only reimbursed by the state for half of the nearly $570,000 that was spent on busing last school year.
At least five fee-based bus routes will be run throughout Sioux Falls School District next year for specialized elementary and middle school students. Fees will range from $50 to $150 per semester, based on families' lunch payment qualifications.