The Provincial Government is putting off changes they were wanting to make to transportation fees in schools.

Alberta Education reported last fall the department was making changes that included eliminating busing fees for students who lived further than 2.4 km away from the school they were attending and students with disabilities.

School boards, including the Foothills School Division were telling Alberta Ed they needed more time to make changes and more information.

Drew Chipman, assistant superintendent of corporate services, says he's glad the minister listened.

"We are interested in being able to provide that feedback so they can make informed decisions," said Chipman.
He adds parents need to know well in advance what the expectations are.

"So we can communicate that out as quickly and concisely as possible. We are excited about the fact that the minister listened and he is going to take a hard look and give us the kind of time we need to put those resources in place."

Chipman adds if they need to add buses, staff or resources they need lead time to do it.

Alberta Education will be talking to parents, school boards and people involved in transportation.

The original changes included eliminating busing fees for the following students:

- Those who live 2.4 kilometres or more from the designated school they attend for regular or special education programming
- Those who have a disability that prohibits them from using regular transportation services

- Those who attend a different school (2.4 kilometres away from their home), at a school board’s direction, because their neighbourhood school is full.

- Noon-hour transportation for children attending kindergarten.

In some circumstances, busing fees may still apply, including:

- If a student lives less than 2.4 kilometres from their designated school.

- If a parent chooses to enrol their child in a school other than their designated school. This includes students attending “schools of choice,” such as alternative programs.

- If the parent or student requests enhanced or optional service, such as pick up or drop off from a secondary location.

- Students who take municipal transit, and live 2.4 kilometres or more from their designated school, will only pay the difference between provincial transportation funding and the cost of a municipal transit pass. For example, in Calgary: one school year’s worth (10 months) of municipal transit costs $700, provincial transportation funding is $549 per student the net cost to the parent cannot be more than $151.


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