Aug. 28, 2014
The Calgary Board of Education is always looking for ways to make our transportation service as efficient and fiscally responsible as possible.
As part of difficult decisions that had to be made regarding the 2014-15 budget, the Board of Trustees voted that the CBE would no longer use instructional grants to subsidize fees. This has resulted in an increase in fees for yellow bus transportation services to $330 per student.
Beginning in September 2014, changes are being made to school bus routes to be as fiscally responsible as possible. For the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years all students riding yellow school buses may travel up to 1.4 km from home to a community bus stop.
By making this change, it allowed us to use about 30 less buses this year, resulting in a nearly $2 million in savings. Although fees were increased, without this cost savings measure, transportation fees would have been even higher.
There will be no changes to bus stops for students with complex learning needs. As well, students in alternative programs will continue to be served at congregated stops, some of which are beyond these limits.
This year, bus stop change requests will only be reviewed by Transportation for extenuating circumstances.
It is important to note that the cost of providing the current service levels continues to exceed the level of funding we receive:
- The Provincial Government provides funding for students who reside more than 2.4 km from their designated school.
- The Provincial Government does not provide funding for mid-day kindergarten service, students who must attend designated overflow schools or those who attend alternative programs.
The CBE receives 92 per cent of its funding from the provincial government. This is the fourth consecutive year in which Alberta Education funding per student to the CBE has decreased.
In order to sustain funding to schools, the Board had to make some difficult decisions in developing the last budget, including: depleting its operating reserves, no longer using instructional dollars to subsidize fees and delaying investments in certain new programs and services.
Parents are welcome to confirm bus routes and stops at their child’s school.