Tuesday, April 7, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 14 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week

“If the man’s not there, someone else will do the work. If it doesn’t get done, maybe it’s not necessary.
If we haven’t done an inspection in seven years, maybe we don’t need an inspection.”

- Councillor Ian MacLeod  
- on a proposed hiring freeze   


The trustees of the Livingstone Range School Division are facing some tough decisions concerning school bus transportation, and they are seeking community input about several recommended changes. As part of a five-community tour that will run through the month of April, a community meeting was held at the Crowsnest Consolidated High School on Thursday, April 2, to seek that input from Crowsnest parents.
The basic issue at hand, explained Associate Superintendent Don Olsen, is that the school division’s transportation section has been operating at a growing deficit since 2003. The money to cover that deficit inevitably comes out of funds that would normally go into area classrooms.
The division receives funding for eligible students who ride the bus to school –– but the trick is that the funding, according to provincial legislation, only applies to students who live more than 2.4 km from the school they attend.
The number of eligible bus students has been declining steadily in the last five years, said Olsen. In the 2004/05 school year, the division transported 1848 eligible students; in 2008/09, that number is down to 1484.
“We will only receive transportation funding for a student who resides at least 2.4 kilometres away,” said Olsen. “That’s just how tight that regulation is. That’s how we’re governed as far as funding goes.”
Currently the school divison transports students within this 2.4 km radius in three communities –– Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, and Claresholm. This year, 470 such students are being bussed to school, but the division receives no funding to do so.
With this in mind, the school division conducted a transportation review that was completed in early 2009. The review contained several recommendations to make the division’s transportation sector self-sufficient again.
Some of these recommendations may not be popular with parents, which is why the division is seeking community input before they make any decisions.
One recommendation states that a $300 per-student per-year fee be charged for in-town bussing (defined as students within 2.4 km of their school). This paid service should be available for at least K-3 students, says the recommendation.
... for the full article, see the April 7 issue of the Pass Herald.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 14 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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