School Bus Fees as Economic Discrimination

The introduction of the bus system has forced many parents to give an extra dollar to the fees they have been paying for their children. Children have been enjoying the free ride to and from their respective schools but due to the economic constraints, the Fontana Unified School Districted has decided that every child must pay $120 as bus fees. From the economic perspective of the school, this increase is in tandem with the economic status of the country, but from the parents’ perspective, it is quite unfair. The increase of bus fees from $0 to $120 is not rational because parents are also experiencing the economic constraints that the schools are experiencing. What the schools are doing is to cushion themselves against economic constraints at the expense of the parents who are already overstretched by paying the school fees.

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The drastic introduction of the bus system to the schools is a novel idea but the exorbitant bus fees do not fit well in the economic status of the parents, since a parent who has two or more children will experience the brunt of this new bus system. Parents have been working very hard to pay school fees for their children and free transport has been a great incentive not only to the parents but also to the students. Given that a child’s education is paramount both to the school and to the parent, how can the school be very insensitive to the need of improving the quality education of the students? There are indeed expenses occurred in running free transport for the students but a drastic change of policies does not justify the need for the bus fees.

The consequences of introducing bus fees will reverse the objective of education since many students will not afford and can decide to walk to school, others will use private means, while others will resort to truancy. Also, students who walk long distances to their respective schools through dangerous parts of the district will risk their lives. All these factors have cumulative effects of lowering school attendance and quality of education. Due to these dire consequences, the schools should reconsider their policies whether the priority of the education lies in the bus system fees or the quality of the education they offer. The educational fees should be in a package tailored to the students’ needs and thus the schools must own up the responsibility of providing all educational needs of the students including the bus fees.

The schools’ claims of offering two programs of transport, the bus system, and the kids-walk-to-school, insinuates some form discrimination. To be part of these programs means having the money or not and lack of money is not a choice. It is irrational to justify walking to school due to lack of bus fees as way of improving health to both the students and the environment. Education must be accessible and affordable to all students and not only a few who can afford transport. The schools should not shift their responsibility of ensuring satisfaction of students’ needs to the parents who have already paid the fees. When schools introduced the bus system, they seemed to be delegating their responsibilities of ensuring the safety and transport of the students to the individual parents. Who knows, next they will say every parent must own a private teacher to aid in the teaching of the students. The schools should be responsible for all the needs of the students and offer them in one package affordable to the parents.

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