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Douglas County votes to charge fees for school-bus rides
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Douglas County votes to charge fees for school-bus rides Reply with quote

www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15115035

Quote:
Douglas County votes to charge fees for school-bus rides

PARKER — Parents in Colorado's third-largest school district are being asked to pay if their kids want to ride the bus to school.

The Douglas County school board voted 5-0 Tuesday night to approve a 50-cent-per-ride transportation fee starting next school year. The decision will affect about 17,000 students who ride the bus this year. The district hopes to raise $2 million with the program.

The buses will have Zonar GPS units to track student ridership. Students will have a card or a ZPass that will track their use of the bus.

Douglas County Schools will have to pay $221,000 in three equal installments over the next three years to fully implement the GPS tracking technology. That cost covers the system as a whole.

"Cost per bus will likely vary, as some may require more updating than others," said Dianna Miguez, communications specialist for Douglas County Schools.

Families who qualify for the National Free and Reduced Lunch Program will not be charged the fee. Students in the Individualized Education Program that requires transportation also will not be charged.

The school board debated the issue for three months until voting Tuesday.

Douglas County Schools is facing $31 million in reductions for the 2010-11 school year. At nearly $16 million, the district says transportation costs make up a large portion of the budget.

Jefferson County, the largest district in the state, does not have a transportation fee in next year's budget. Denver, the second-largest in the state, is not discussing it as an option.




This is coming close the the most dumbass idea out of local government I've heard of in a long time.

Not only do they now want to charge a fee for students to be transported to something that by law they have to attend, but to add insult to injury, they are gonna drop from the paying rolls any student that qualifies for reduced or free lunch programs, (which is a larger portion than many would suspect, damn near anyone who applies is accepted).

Would make more sense to raise the local sales tax by a penny if the county is hurting that badly for income. (or possibly get rid of some of the administrative positions in the school system)
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(EDIT: I saw the reference to Jefferson County in the last paragraph and riffed off of that -- then read the article again....)

If the school system can't afford to operate a fleet of buses, why not just make the kids ride public transit? I went to school briefly in Waukegan, IL, in the mid-1960s, and that's exactly what that city did. (The idea of putting a third grader on a city bus scared the hell out of my mom; she drove me to school instead.)
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

School budgets have problems because state aid is cut, and at the same time health care costs are rising (a town near me got hit with a 800K aid cut plus a 600K increase for health care, and it's a small city/large town).

Usually raising taxes to cover these costs takes a town referendum vote. And everyone votes them down. (Our town voted it down last night in fact).

So schools are left to charge fees for busrides, charge fees to play sports, and have lots of bake sales.

Most towns don't have public transit.

And you may have to go to school, but you don't have to take the bus.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it would be okay if it were a for-fee privatized service, right? I thought we should all be in favor of privatization.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<consults Colorado map> I thought so. Towns in Douglas County include Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch. The per-capita income there is plenty high. I'm not going to be feeling too sorry for them for not raising school taxes to cover the cost of busing their kids.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the school provide the transport? Or the state/district/whatever?

If it's the school, they can charge.

(We don't really have any equivalent here...if you go to school, you pretty much have to get there yourself, with some very rare exceptions.)

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent example of what's wrong with America.

If I was ridiculously wealthy and lived in that district, I would arrange free transit for all children who did not qualify for free bus rides. Then the schools would still have to operate the bus system without the fares.

This just infuriates me. What bullshit.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Av, yes, school districts here in the US typically provide transportation to and from school for the students. And it's usually provided at no cost to the student. (Hence the typical American child's dislike for the bright yellow "cheese bus" -- it's the thing that takes them to school. Wink )

I have to tell you that the mid- to upper-income folks in my kids' school district often drove their kids to school, even when they lived within walking distance. I can't believe that a lot of these parents aren't already doing that for their kids already anyhow.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much more money would Public Schools have for *gasp* education if they didn't have to be a chaffur service for their students? It is parent's responsibility to see that their children are educated. That includes getting their children to school. If it were up to me I'd end school bussing altogether.

Heck, I walked to school through most of my education. Law School excluded, I just lived too far away.

The more I think about it the more I like the idea. Walking is good exercise. We worry our children are getting fat. Push them to walk. It's good for them.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SerScot wrote:
How much more money would Public Schools have for *gasp* education if they didn't have to be a chaffur service for their students? It is parent's responsibility to see that their children are educated. That includes getting their children to school. If it were up to me I'd end school bussing altogether.

Heck, I walked to school through most of my education. Law School excluded, I just lived too far away.

The more I think about it the more I like the idea. Walking is good exercise. We worry our children are getting fat. Push them to walk. It's good for them.


There were a couple of times I lived over 10 miles from school, and since most school hours correspond with normal working hours, seems to me it would be difficult to reconcile this without school bus's.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RR,

Why is getting children to and from School the School district's responsibility and not the Parent's responsibility?
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even the "less advantaged" children's parents who work pay local taxes of which one is surely a school tax. People who don't even have kids have to pay that one. Local taxes are generally non-rebatable.

I guess the schools themselves decided to provide transportation long ago in order to facilitate getting as many students as possible through the doors each morning because the Federal Government Pays Them Per Child That Is Present Each Day.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, if we did that, maybe they'd institute a similar program here.

Ali wrote:
Av, yes, school districts here in the US typically provide transportation to and from school for the students. And it's usually provided at no cost to the student. (Hence the typical American child's dislike for the bright yellow "cheese bus" -- it's the thing that takes them to school.)


Yeah, like I said we have no real equivalent. I understand the concept, 'cause we see it on TV and in movies, but it's a foreign one to us. Only top private schools, or schools for the disabled or developmentally challenged offer that kind of service here.

Like SerScot, I walked or rode a bike for 90% of my school career.

RR wrote:
...since most school hours correspond with normal working hours...


But that should work out fine...drop them off on the way to work, pick 'em up after.

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Hahaha, if we did that, maybe they'd institute a similar program here.

Ali wrote:
Av, yes, school districts here in the US typically provide transportation to and from school for the students. And it's usually provided at no cost to the student. (Hence the typical American child's dislike for the bright yellow "cheese bus" -- it's the thing that takes them to school.)


Yeah, like I said we have no real equivalent. I understand the concept, 'cause we see it on TV and in movies, but it's a foreign one to us. Only top private schools, or schools for the disabled or developmentally challenged offer that kind of service here.

Like SerScot, I walked or rode a bike for 90% of my school career.

RR wrote:
...since most school hours correspond with normal working hours...


But that should work out fine...drop them off on the way to work, pick 'em up after.

--A


Sure, work is only about 500 meters away, while school is over over 20 kilometers away. sure, should work out fine for the parents.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RR,

Again, why is the District's responsibility to see that these children get to school and not the parent's responsibility?
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody is righteously indignant about government services until they get cut.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SerScot wrote:
RR,

Again, why is the District's responsibility to see that these children get to school and not the parent's responsibility?


If they can use the force of law to compell me to attend public school, then they can damn well pay to get me there after a certain distance from the school comes into play.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RR,

Rawedge Rim wrote:
SerScot wrote:
RR,

Again, why is the District's responsibility to see that these children get to school and not the parent's responsibility?


If they can use the force of law to compell me to attend public school, then they can damn well pay to get me there after a certain distance from the school comes into play.


So, because they can use force to require you to feed your children the government should provide you with free food?
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SerScot wrote:
RR,

Again, why is the District's responsibility to see that these children get to school and not the parent's responsibility?



the State says it is mandatory for the child to attend school by law, so then it should be the state/schools responsibility to make sure those children have transportation to and from the facility, unless of course it is a private school..

when i was a kid I had a Jr High school less than half a mile away from me..but because i was on the opposite side of a major dividing street I was sent to a school that was over 10 miles away in the opposite direction. The schools decide where a kid will go to school by the Zone in which they live. if they want to do away with transportation or charge for it, then parents should be able to decide what school their child will attend. IMO

I dont really see much of a problem with charging for a bus ride..just not 50 cents per ride. i would say a $100 fee per year per student should cover costs and leave alot extra still.. LOL if i had my choice i would choose public transportation.. the school buses i rode were always full and you had to almost fight someone to get them to move over so you could sit down.. I cant imagine being asked to pay for that experience.

besides that most working parents dont have time to give their kid a ride.. either its the school bus or find the stay at home mom or dad who was willing to drive a few of the local kids to school.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackhawk,

Blackhawk wrote:
SerScot wrote:
RR,

Again, why is the District's responsibility to see that these children get to school and not the parent's responsibility?



the State says it is mandatory for the child to attend school by law, so then it should be the state/schools responsibility to make sure those children have transportation to and from the facility, unless of course it is a private school..

when i was a kid I had a Jr High school less than half a mile away from me..but because i was on the opposite side of a major dividing street I was sent to a school that was over 10 miles away in the opposite direction. The schools decide where a kid will go to school by the Zone in which they live. if they want to do away with transportation or charge for it, then parents should be able to decide what school their child will attend. IMO

I dont really see much of a problem with charging for a bus ride..just not 50 cents per ride. i would say a $100 fee per year per student should cover costs and leave alot extra still.. LOL if i had my choice i would choose public transportation.. the school buses i rode were always full and you had to almost fight someone to get them to move over so you could sit down.. I cant imagine being asked to pay for that experience.

besides that most working parents dont have time to give their kid a ride.. either its the school bus or find the stay at home mom or dad who was willing to drive a few of the local kids to school.


Let me quote myself:

Quote:
So, because they can use force to require you to feed your children the government should provide you with free food?

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