School District 60 encouraged by turnout for transportation meeting

Doug Boyd is the secretary-treasurer for School District 60 and led most of the discussion throughout the night. He was encouraged by the amount of people that came out, but was also regretful more people were not able to attend.

“There [were] some really good questions. It’s unfortunate that people aren’t hearing that exchange, because if you go on Facebook and those areas, there is a lot of confusion out there, and a lot of misinformation, and it creates a lot of anxiety that doesn’t need to exist.”

Based on that, there are a few misconceptions Boyd wanted to clear up regarding taxes and people saying they would drive kids on their own instead of paying.

“Some of the things [have] to do with tax payer dollars. They think the school tax that’s on their property tax comes directly to the school district and it doesn’t; it goes to the government. It doesn’t cover a fraction of the cost of educating the students,” Boyd explains. “The other is the confusion that seems to happen around the idea that, ‘I can do it cheaper by driving my student to the school’. If that is the case, I really need to take lessons from them because I would like to hear from them on how they are going to do that.”

Boyd adds that there were a few ideas that came up throughout the meeting.

“There [have] been three ideas that have percolated, and one is to raise the dollars by property taxes,” he says. “Through a referendum we have the access to do that. One is to privatize the bussing, and the other is the fees.”

Boyd notes that no firm decision has been made on what to do for transportation for next year. He says that future board meetings, and possible help from the provincial representative, will dictate when a decision will come.

“Were gathering all the information and we have a board meeting on Tuesday. We’ll enter into more discussions on that,” Boyd says. “If the board feels that they have enough information at that point then a decision will be made. We’ve also enlisted the help of our MLA Pat Pimm. He has basically said that he will work very closely with us, so it may be that we have to adjust our timetable based on the input we can get from him.”

A decision on what to do on the transportation issue will have to be made by the end of the school year in order to implement it for September.