Pritchard: Schools need transportation flexibility

Apr 27, 2012

Illinois lawmakers could consider a proposal this spring that would change how school districts are reimbursed for transportation costs. The state board of education is in the process of drawing up the plan. One idea being floated is to allow school districts to charge students to ride the bus.

That would allow them to make up any money they would lose under the new funding formula.  They would also be allowed to stop busing students altogether.

DeKalb-area Representative Bob Pritchard says he hopes lawmakers give the plan serious consideration.  The Republican says not all of it might work, but he adds that school districts need more flexibility in dealing with limited state funding.

Some school administrators have voiced concerns about the plan.  They say adding a fee might not be the answer.  They say that's because students who qualify for free or reduced lunches would stand to receive a fee waiver for transportation.  Opponents say that would place more of a burden on non-eligible families.