Families in the Central Okanagan school district will no longer pay fees for students riding school buses within their schools’ catchment area thanks to $600,000 in funding under the new provincial Student Transportation Fund.
Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson announced today on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier that the Central Okanagan school district will use the new funding to eliminate bus riding fees for all eligible student riders, including students with special needs who ride the bus for longer distances.
School districts had the opportunity to apply for the Student Transportation Fund from Aug. 10 to Sept. 30, this year. To be eligible for funding, districts had to submit a plan to the Ministry of Education outlining how they will use the funding to enhance transportation services for students and families.
The amount of funding a district is eligible for is based on a formula tied to the ministry’s student location factor, which is used to determine the rural makeup of a school district. Districts will be required to report back on the outcomes and benefits they achieve as a result of the funding.
The new $14.7-million Student Transportation Fund was announced in August to help school districts provide affordable and accessible transportation for B.C. families.
As a result of B.C.'s strong economic growth and fiscal discipline, government is able to support and fund projects that make a real difference in the lives of British Columbians.
Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson –
“This new fund puts money back in parents’ pockets by eliminating bus fees, meaning they can use those funds for other family priorities. This fund was made possible through our government’s strong mandate for prudent fiscal management.”
The Student Transportation Fund builds on government’s recent investments to further strengthen B.C.’s education system and support student learning, including:
- $25 million of administrative savings returned to school districts to invest in students;
- $2-million Rural Education Enhancement Fund to help keep schools open;
- $28 million to ensure enrolment increases and labour settlements are covered; and,
- $6 million to train teachers on coding and new curriculum and to buy computers.
Read the Student Transportation Fund news release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016EDUC0076-001429