The Lawrence school board is contemplating fees as a way to offset busing costs.
When Gaye Nicholson moved to a new home last month, her son Eric technically became a student at Central Junior High School instead of South Junior High School.
School officials allowed Eric to continue at South, but he had to make a special request to ride a South school bus that passed near his home.
Under a proposal that the Lawrence school board discussed Tuesday, Eric and other students who make special requests could be charged about $3.25 a week to ride a bus.
Gaye Nicholson isn't too crazy about that idea.
"I feel like busing ought to be part of the system," Nicholson said this morning. "If I have to pay it, I'll pay it. But I won't like it."
The district's busing costs are expected to be about $50,000 over what was budgeted for this school year. To cover the shortfall, the board will have to transfer additional dollars from the district's general fund to the transportation fund.
Craig Fiegel, the district's director of business and facilities, said that's not the only reason the district is considering busing fees at this time.
However, he said, "I think it does show that we're spending more on transportation as we grow as a district. The board needs to evaluate how much busing we can afford to do."
Busing fees are used in several school districts in the Kansas City area. In the Shawnee Mission school district, the semester rate is $57.50 per student, or about $3.20 a week.
"That's pretty cheap transportation," board member Renee Karr said.
Presently, 91 children in the Lawrence school district are being bused under a special request.
Board President John Tacha said that, for parents' sake, the district probably should consider charging fees in the 1995-96 school year, not next fall.
"I think between now and September would be pretty short notice," he said.
In other busing considerations, the board discussed eliminating busing for the following students as a way to reduce costs:
- Broken Arrow students who live in the Manor Estates area (west of Naismith Ditch).
- Pinckney School students who live in the Northwood area (about 1 mile west of the school).
- Quail Run students who live in the Pinnacle and Western Hills areas.