School bus fees are being charged to all riders in the Vernon School District. (Courtesy photo)

Parents pressure Vernon school board to curb bus fee hike

More than 1,200 signatures on petition against $200 rider fees, to be discussed at board meeting

A growing number of North Okanagan parents are not on board with paying to have their kids ride the bus.

The Vernon School District has planned to increase transportation fees from $25 to $200 for eligible riders for the 2021-22 year.

READ MORE: Vernon school bus fees jump to $200

With two kids, Cherryville mom Krystal Arcand isn’t happy with the prospect of paying $400 to get her kids to school.

“The board has stated that these increases are in fact for extra routes for ‘programs of choice’ such as Montessori and French immersion. So essentially our eligible riders are subsidizing buses for these programs not even regular catchment routes,” Arcand said in her change.org petition, which has been signed by more than 1,200 people so far.

READ MORE: Concerned parents launch petition opposing Vernon School District bus fee hike

But students in programs of choice are paying more, $300, in order to ride the bus. Those taking the bus outside of their catchment area will also pay $300.

The fee for courtesy riders within their catchment area is $200, a fee that was implemented in 2018.

Letters have also been sent to the school board in advance of a March 10 meeting, with the hope of changing the mind of trustees.

Those with comments, concerns or questions about the recent change to the transportation policy, can email them to ljameson@sd22.bc.ca.

To join the meeting visit the school district website on March 10 when the link will be posted.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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