Students may have to pay for transportation |

Students may have to pay for transportation

Soon there may be no such thing as a free ride to school for some students.In light of an expected $1.5 million budget gap in the 2005-06 school year, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is considering a fee for the approximately 1,200 students who use school bus transportation.”In our district, the transportation encroachment [on the general fund] is higher than what I’ve seen in any district,” said Ralph Johnson, assistant superintendent of business, at a recent budget review committee meeting.Transportation expenses are approximately $1.4 million from the district’s $33 million general fund.The school board will talk about lowering transportation cost in a workshop tonight at the school district office. The school board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., and the workshop is scheduled for approximately 7:15 p.m.Tom Miller, the district’s director of transportation, said workshop attendees should walk away with “an understanding of the whole transportation system, as well as its future.”Approximately 1,800 of the school district’s 4,500 or so students take the bus, Miller said.Some students will be exempt from paying for transportation if the school board decides to charge a fee. Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs because of family income level will either not pay or pay a reduced fee.Miller estimates that roughly 1,000 1,200 students will pay for transportation if a fee is approved.Special education students will be exempt from a transportation fee. The federal government requires that school districts provide home-to-school transportation for special education students.Check it outSchool district transportation workshop• Wednesday, Nov. 17, 7:15 p.m. (meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.)• School district office, 11839 Donner Pass Road• There will also be a discussion about Truckee High field maintenance.

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