Illinois Idea: School Busing no Longer Free or Required

Courtney Williams's picture
Monday, April 23, 2012

Local school districts would no longer be required to bus students to school or could charge students fees to ride under a plan being considered by the Illinois State Board of Education.

The state is considering pushing changes in the coming weeks that would end a state mandate for free busing for students who live more than a mile and a half from school or who face certain hazards that prevent walking.

Details are far from final and changes might not take effect until 2014, but spokeswoman Mary Fergus said the plan could include further reductions in how much some school districts get from the state to pay for student transportation.

The idea is a response to state cutbacks in recent years in funding for bus services, which have hit some suburban districts hard.

School districts can now charge children who live close to school to ride the bus, but most others ride free.

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