HOOVER, Ala. — At a meeting on Thursday, Hoover City Schools’ board of education voted to implement school bus ridership fees for the 2014-15 school year, pending approval by the U.S. District Court.
School board attorney Donald Sweeney told news outlet al.com that approval of the fee structure allows school officials to proceed with planning for next year while the federal court reviews the plan.
This news is the latest in a series of changes to the school district’s yellow bus service. Last July, the board voted to end regular-education transportation with the 2014-15 school year in order to save money, but that decision was reversed in December after parents, students and other members of the community objected to the move.
At that time, Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig said that charging a fee for students to ride the bus was one option the district was exploring in order to continue offering bus service with the district’s own fleet.
In a memorandum to the Hoover City Board of Education last week about the transportation fee proposal, Craig said that he had met with U.S. Department of Justice officials in Washington, D.C., and he and other district officials received indication from the Justice Department that they “would not likely oppose implementation” of the fee-based structure that was proposed during previous discussions.
Here is a breakdown of the bus fee structure:
One student rider
• Non-poverty students: $40.75 per month, or $2.26 per day
• Students who qualify for reduced-price lunch: $20.38 per month, or $1.13 per day
• Students who qualify for free lunch: $14.88 per month, or $0.83 per day
Families with two student riders
• Non-poverty student riders: $28.53 per month, per rider; or $1.59 per day, per rider
• Students who qualify for reduced-price lunch: $14.27 per month, per rider; or $0.80 per day, per rider
• Students who qualify for free lunch: $10.42 per month, per rider; or $0.58 per day, per rider
Families with three or more student riders
• Non-poverty student riders: $21.40 per month, per rider; or $1.19 per day, per rider
• Students who qualify for reduced-price lunch: $10.70 per month, per rider; or $0.59 per day, per rider
• Students who qualify for free lunch: $7.82 per month, per rider; or $0.43 per day, per rider
Craig also said in the memorandum that fee-based transportation for the 2014-15 school year would help the district “address the financial challenges we are facing and to do so in a manner that will avoid litigation.”
To read Craig's memorandum in full, click here.
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