State Board of Education looking at charging students for school bus rides

Free ride could be over in Illinois

By WEEK Producer

Free ride could be over in Illinois

April 24, 2012 Updated Apr 24, 2012 at 6:46 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- The free ride for students, or at least part of it, could be over for public schools in Illinois.

The Springfield State Journal Register reports there's a proposal from the Illinois State Board of Education proposal which is being mulled over that would eliminate the state requirement that public school districts transport students.

The State Journal Register reports that under the proposal, school districts could charge a fee for transporting students.

That fee would be the difference between what school districts receive from the state and what it actually costs to bus students to school.

The state has reduced appropriations to schools over the last few years, and Governor Quinn has proposed that local school districts should start paying into the pension fund for their teachers.

Currently, Chicago schools pay into the pension fund for their teachers, but downstate school districts rely on the state of Illinois to pay pension costs, even though teachers are not state employees.

According to the Journal-Register, an Illinois Board of Education spokesman said a bill containing the proposal to allow charging a fee for school bus rides could be introduced this week.

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