Daycares to Pay School Bus Fee in Pennsylvania
published on December 09, 2016 by Sonia Mastros
It's no secret that many school districts around the country are looking for creative new ways to make up budget deficits, but some ideas are going down easier than others.
The Dallastown Area School District (DASD) in Pennsylvania has made headlines recently for its latest budget-boosting move: Beginning in January 2017, it will be charging $2 per student, per day, for school bus transportation to or from daycare centers rather than to the students' homes.
Unsurprisingly, this is not going down well with parents or daycare administrators.
Is Soaking Busy Parents a Good Idea for Raising School Funds?
A large number of working parents, both in Pennsylvania and across the country, are choosing to have their younger children dropped off at daycare centers after school. This avoids leaving them home alone for several hours until their parents get home from work, and was seen as a solution to the latchkey kids problem which first arose in the 1980s.
Unfortunately, with these new school bus transportation fees, parents may be forced to reconsider. The daycare centers will almost inevitably have to pass these fees onto the parents, which could result in drastically higher daycare costs - especially for multichild families. It could easily translate to $100/month or more in extra costs, which many families simply cannot afford.
DASD has shown very little willingness to discuss the problem, announcing the new policy and then only giving daycare centers a couple weeks to decide if they will comply. If not, bus service would be denied. Nor have they offered any substantial justifications for their decision, considering that in many cases the district is probably already saving money by dropping a large number of students off at a single central daycare location.
In short, the days of latchkey kids may be returning to Pennsylvania, as no one is offering any better alternatives.
There are Better Ways to Cut School Bus Transportation Costs
It's true of businesses, and it's also true of school districts: The vast majority of the time, the best way to save money is through optimization and cost-cutting, rather than by raising rates.
Products such as BusBoss allow districts to refine and optimize every aspect of their bus systems, including:
- Fuel consumption monitoring
- Braking habits
- Early warning of soon-to-fail components
- Improved state reporting, leading to higher funding
- Student monitoring and tracking
- Reduced parent questions\complaints
- Driver performance evaluations
- Easy redistricting calculations
A single software suite can help cut costs across the board, while making everyday management simpler and easier for administrators. Beyond the immediate savings, this also frees up the administration to handle other vital functions in a timely fashion.
For more information on how BusBoss can cut your school bus transportation costs, or a free demo, contact us today!
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