Pay for bus ride to school?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Pay for bus ride to school?
26
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 5:57pm

What do you think about this strategy that some school districts are adopting, charging students a fee if they want to ride the bus to/from school?

NBCChicago.com is reporting that the Illinois Board of Education is considering the move, offering districts in the state the options of eliminating buses altogether or having parents pay the transportation cost. The Illinois school system serves about 2.1 million students.

Nationwide, school districts struggling with massive budget shortfalls have started charging families for what had been a free service, with even more districts, including Palm Beach County in Florida, considering the idea of a pay-to-ride bus system.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, most families in the Keller Independent School District started racking up bills in August, with fees up to $170 for a child each semester. Because of Texas law, special needs students continue to ride for free.

“We understand that families are monetarily strapped and people are still upset,” said Dana Chandler, general manager of transportation with the Keller Independent School District with Durham School Services. “But I am not getting 100 calls a day as I did earlier, but down to one or two from parents. Ridership has grown as the year has progressed and I can’t believe it, but it has become successful.”

Parents in Colorado's third-largest school district are in their second year paying $1 day for their kids to ride the bus to school.

You can read the complete article at this link:

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 12:00am

Yes most kids go to their neighborhood schools.

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 4:33pm
I think our problem is there was and still is to some extent such a huge disparity among the schools. Even though the teachers are paid the same and held to the same standards, and the funding is the same, the students are different. Students from very poor areas, where parental involvement is less, where the kids are facing a whole lot more stressors in their lives than just making good grades, don't do well. When most of the kids in your neighborhood school are from the projects where graduation is not a high priority and teen pregnancy is common, it is difficult to succeed. So they try to even things out by busing kids to other schools. Studies show that if you take a kid from a neighborhood like that and put him in a school with kids who achieve more, he will also achieve more. So they try to make things more even.

Parents in the nicer areas don't want their kids going to the inner-city schools or the inner-city school kids coming to their area.

I know the funding is the same. But when you come from a family where you have more advantages, participate in extra curricular activities, have food on the table, have parents who can be involved, who are also educated, you tend to do better. If you come from a family that is very poor, where mom is single and works two jobs, so she can't make it to school conferences, where you struggle to just have enough to eat, much less tutoring, etc. it is harder to achieve.

So how do your schools in the much poorer areas do as well as the schools in the wealthier areas?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 4:35pm
Technically, the way it is set up, all the schools are "magnet" schools in that they all have "specialties" that are supposed to attract students. Some are excellent, others not so much.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 5:20pm

The only way I know how to check is to look at AYP scores from NCLB.

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2010
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 10:19pm

I'm not sure that is the case in the op, it seems more like a way to raise money and not force the kids to ride the bus instead of parents driving.

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 04-27-2012 - 10:02am
Most of the schools in our district are not good, if you use test scores as the only determinant. The magnet schools here have tended to attract more middle-class kids (entrance is by test scores, auditions, interviews, etc. rather than by lottery), so they tend to have the best test scores. I think the the answer lies in mixing low-income and middle-class populations, but our district was not successful in doing this through forced busing in the 70s (and it doesn't sound like your district has made busing work very well either). We have open enrollment, which also doesn't solve the disparity problem. Although I have mixed feelings about charter schools, we have a very successful model here that is 50/50 low-income/middle-class families. So maybe there's hope in some of these new models that are able to attract kids from across the socioeconomic spectrum.

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