Rocky View Schools votes to change student busing after $1M budget shortfall
Southern Alberta’s Rocky View Schools board of trustees has voted in favour of a proposal that will change the way students are transported, the board said in a news release Thursday.
The board said it was looking at a $1-million transportation shortfall due to a number of factors, including provincial grant revenues not keeping pace with the cost of inflation, a $360,000 carbon levy and Bill 1. So the board decided to initiate a 10-week consultation process, including holding public meetings and sending out surveys.
In a news release, the board said they voted on the following changes:
- Buses will pick up urban students to fill rural buses, saving the board approximately $150,000
- Buses will not enter rural cul-de-sacs, unless the length exceeds 800 metres. The board said this will save $150,000.
- School bell times will be changed to accommodate more double runs in all urban communities while maintaining early dismissal Fridays. This will save about $750,000, the board said.
When these changes are implemented, the board said it will save about $1 million.
“We believe we’ve made the best of a difficult situation, selecting cost-saving measures that reflect our three planning principles and having the least amount of impact on services,” board chair Todd Brand said in a statement. “Moving forward, our board will still need to debate any fee increases as defined by policy 24: school fees. This will take place later this spring.”
The proposal passed with a vote of 6-2.
With files from Traci Nagai