Carroll (Texas) school district families will have to pay $250 for nearly every child who rides the bus next school year, trustees agreed.
The school board voted 6-0 to expand its pay-to-ride program starting in the fall. This year, only students who live within two miles of school must pay a fee, which is $215 per child.
"This is a service we provide," board President Read Ballew said. "I think this is a necessary step. This is a small portion of the overall cost."
Trustees agreed to implement the fee to help offset the school district's transportation costs. Carroll budgets about $2 million per year for transportation and recoups about $235,000 annually from fees.
The new fee will be capped at $500 per family.
On Monday, Carroll administrators outlined estimates of potential revenue from additional fees. A new fee would likely cause a drop in ridership, which means fewer drivers would be needed. A driver costs about $14,000 per year.
Even with the added fees, the district would still spend more than $1 million to provide busing.
Carroll officials are trying to increase revenue and cut expenses as part of a multiyear plan to balance the budget.