Trustees consider raising parents’ transportation subsidy

  • Oct. 3, 2008 7:00 a.m.

The school board is thinking about raising the transportation subsidy it provides to parents who have to drive their children to school. School trustees discussed the idea at their Sept. 23 meeting in Masset, but voted to table any decision until their October meeting in case more transportation concerns arise. The school district pays driving parents $10 per student per school day, and despite the rising cost of gas, the rate has not changed since the 1980s, said secretary-treasurer Ken Campbell. The payments are provided in cases where students don’t have access to bus service. Mr. Campbell suggested that trustees raise the rate to $13, saying a Sandspit parent told him that high school students there could afford to take a taxi to and from the ferry if the rate were increased. It would cost about $3,000 to increase the transportation assistance for the six Sandspit students, Mr. Campbell said. However, there are several other families receiving the payments and Mr. Campbell said he would prepare information about the total cost for the next meeting. Trustee Christine Martynuik said the district already spends around $400,000 a year on transportation, and receives only $200,000 from the provincial government for it. That, plus the fact that Mr. Campbell had just told trustees the district might be short of money this year, had Ms Martynuik wondering if right now is the right time for an increase. “Do we have that $3,000 in our budget?” trustee Sharon Matthews asked. “No,” Mr. Campbell replied. Trustees made a motion to raise the rate, then voted to table it. The next school board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 28 in Skidegate.

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