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Student busing: Central Okanagan board of education recommends $75 fee hike instead of $225

Central Okanagan School Board reduces fee increase recommendation to ride school bus

Parents of school-aged children in the Central Okanagan will likely be facing an unwanted price hike this year when it comes to student bus fees.

The question is: How much?

On Thursday, Central Okanagan Public Schools issued a news release stating that the board of education is recommending a $75 hike.

Heading into Wednesday’s public board meeting, the transportation steering committee was recommending a doubling of fees, to $450 from $225.

READ MORE: Busing fees, registration to be discussed at Central Okanagan school board meeting

However, the school district said the board reviewed the steering committee’s recommendation — as well as additional options, including alternate fee amounts and eligibility limits — and came up with a revised fee of $300.

“After a robust debate, the board of education revised the recommended fee for all riders and the eligibility limit for middle school students,” the school board said in the press release.

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“The board agreed with the steering committee’s recommendation for the registration deadline, as well as the recommendation for elementary and secondary school eligibility limits.”

Parents whose children use a school bus in the Central Okanagan School District may be facing a 100 per cent fee increase
Parents whose children use a school bus in the Central Okanagan School District may be facing a 100 per cent fee increase

A registration deadline of May 31 for bus passes for the next school season that was recommended by the steering committee was approved by the school board.

Also receiving approval were lowered eligibility bus distances for elementary students (current: 4.0 kilometres, recommended: 3.0 kilometres) and middle school students (current: 4.8 kilometres, recommended: 4.0 kilometres). The 4.8-kilometre distance for secondary school students will stay in place.

The school district said those recommendations and others will be brought forward at the Feb. 26 public meeting in Kelowna for a final decision by the school board.

The school district noted that registration for busing is expected to be open to the public on March 2.

New $300 bus fee for some Vernon students
New $300 bus fee for some Vernon students