Baldwin school board clarifies busing fee
The Baldwin school board decided Monday to retain the policy it adopted in June to charge students to ride district buses to school if they live within 2.5 miles of the school.
Last month, the board approved a $75 annual fee for students living within a 2.5-miles radius of the schools they attend. Those students eligible for free lunches will not be charged and those receiving lunches at a reduced price will be charged at a 50 percent rate of $37.50.
The board decided to keep the fee at $75 per student regardless of the numbers of students in the family. The fee will be $75 annually no matter how late in the school year a student starts riding a bus, the board agreed.
The board added the fee as a cost-cutting move. The state reimburses the district for the cost of transporting students more than 2.5 miles from their attendance centers. Until the board voted to change the policy last month, the district covered the expense of transporting students closer than that distance.
The board revisited the busing issue Monday at Superintendent Paul Dorathy’s request. He said he and others often referred to “in-town busing” when discussing the issue, but said it needed to be clarified that the policy also would apply to rural students living within the 2.5-mile radius.
Board members also approved charging out-of-district students the $75 fee. regardless of where they were dropped off for pick up. Dorathy said that would affect only about 12 students.
The fee will not apply to the shuttle bus that transports students from the primary and intermediate centers after school to the junior high and high school campus, Dorathy said.