Transportation Fees Set for 2017-18, Services to be Reviewed
Next year, WDMCS families will see a slight increase in transportation fees, which have not changed for five years.
The WDMCS Board of Education unanimously approved a $20 increase over last year in the annual two-way bus pass. There will be a $10 increase in the annual one-way bus pass, a $5 increase in the quarterly two-way pass, and a $2 increase in the one-way quarterly pass.
At the School Board’s April 24 meeting, WDMCS Chief Financial Officer Paul Bobek explained even with the proposed increase, the district is not charging the full cost of transporting a student. The district will continue to only charge approximately three-fourths of the average transportation cost per student.
2017-18 Transportation Fees
|Regular Fee||Reduced-Rate Fee|
|Quarterly One-Way Bus Pass||$64||$45|
|Quarterly Two-Way Bus Pass||$123||$86|
|Annual One-Way Bus Pass (Four Quarters)||$255||$178|
|Annual Two-Way Bus Pass (Four Quarters)||$490||343|
School Board Seeks Study of Transportation Services
The WDMCS Board of Education asked the district’s administration to analyze the cost to provide free transportation for K-12 students living one mile or more from school. The district currently follows the Iowa Department of Education recommendation to provide free transportation for elementary students living two miles or more from school and for high school students living three miles or more from school.
Based on several assumptions, WDMCS Chief Financial Officer Paul Bobek reported this change would require an estimated:
- 18 new school buses,
- 18 additional bus drivers,
- one additional mechanic, and
- one additional substitute bus driver.
It would cost the district an additional $1.9 million in capital costs and $789,211 in estimated net annual costs.
School Board member Liz Cox said she questioned some of the assumptions, but suggested the district take the time to have a fuller conversation about how to help students get to school to support their opportunity to learn. School Board member David J. Brown suggested the district review its transportation services over the next six to nine months and bring a proposal back to the School Board next spring for a workshop session.