Pali High Bus Fees Face Another Increase

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

Another rise in transportation costs at Palisades Charter High School is a possibility for the 2019-20 school year, according to an operations report submitted to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, February 12.

A monthly increase of at least $10 is possible “unless the board agrees to subsidize all bus riders,” says the report.

“Additional price increases could still occur over and above that, but preliminary projections for school bus registration are at $2,250 per year.”

Currently, a seat on the bus is priced at $215 per month after an increase in May 2018 brought it up from $185.

Families and students who applied for transportation scholarships are expected to be informed by the end April or the beginning May if and how much they will be awarded, as opposed to right at the start of the school year as it has been in the past.

With an intense focus on allocating more funds for transportation scholarships last year, and outrage from students and parents who were suddenly notified of a price increase, the board is now focused on notifying bus riders as early as possible if they will be subjected to a price hike.

This time, the board was not discussing where more funds can be found for transportation, but rather helping students make an “informed decision” on if they will be able to attend Pali High in the future.

“One of the complicating factors is that we’re talking about this aspect of it for incoming ninth-graders, and that’s a very different decision than it is for [someone who thinks] ‘I’m already a junior and you’re telling me there’s not enough money for scholarships?’ So there’s a lot of factors that go into this,” said Don Parcell, director of operations.

Since transportation costs are already determined, it will be easier for the budget and finance committee to calculate how much the school can contribute to the scholarships and how much will be required from the students.

More details are expected to be ironed out in the coming months.