Red Deer Public School trustees weigh higher busing fees

Red Deer Public School trustees are considering new and increased fees for students bused to and from the district’s schools.

Red Deer Public School trustees are considering new and increased fees for students bused to and from the district’s schools.

Administration is recommending double shifting of buses on some routes that could change start times for some schools.

The board is trying to address an expected $378,000 deficit in its transportation budget when it meets on Wednesday evening. Administration is recommending ways to increase revenue, decrease expenses and reduce service levels.

Administration is recommending transportation fees for students depending on their age level and the distance they live from school.

The district is also looking for alternatives to transport students travelling to Christian alternative or Spanish bilingual programs, which do not qualify for the same level of provincial transportation funding.

Board chair Bev Manning said the changes are necessary to make the busing sustainable. In the past, the board has directed funds from instruction to cover shortfalls in its transportation budget.

Recommendations to address transportation shortfalls will be discussed at the public school board meeting on Wednesday. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public and take place in the board room of Red Deer Public Schools offices at 4747 53rd St.

People interested in speaking to the issue at the meeting are asked to contact Cyndi Ramsfield, executive assistant to the superintendant, prior to the meeting by calling 403-342-3713 or emailing cyndi.ramsfield@rdpsd.ab.ca.