The situation was first presented to SD 60 in the 2012/2013 year when the Ministry of Education removed the line item for transportation and replaced with a Student Location Factor that resulted in a reduction of funding over three years. SD 60 was already running at $185,000 over their allocation for transportation and with the Ministry of Education changes the district would be forced into a shortfall in funding of approximately $700,000 for 2014/2015.
Secretary Treasurer Doug Boyd says attempts to work with government have been unsuccessful and as a result it forced SD 60 to make a decision on transportation fees.
“Our efforts have been directly with our Minister and our MLA and they’ve resulted in no change,” he says. “The technical review committee that it was referred to gave us a response that indicated that it will remain unchanged so as a result it was recommended to bring the issue here to a board meeting for a decision regarding implementation of a transportation fee.”
Members of SD 60 stated that they would work as quickly as possible to get the information out to the affected families. It is still to be determined how fee collection will take place or the exact figure families will be faced with as it will be done on a per student charge.
Covering the shortfall in the transportation budget is already costing the school district $370,000 this year.