A rebate will be given to families that use the local school buses.
The provincial government announced earlier this week (Jun 22), that it would be reinstating the Fuel Price Contingency Program.
First introduced in 2007, the provincial government's program protects school divisions from price fluctuations. It allows the government to apply a monthly increase to school divisions’ operating revenues to offset diesel fuel costs when prices exceed $1.25 per litre.
The program was suspended in 2013 before making its return.
“This is something that we had advocated the minister of education for,” said Trina Boymook, the board chair of Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS).
With about 17,000 kilometres travelled by the division's buses per day, EIPS projects it would have been about $800,000 more to run their buses this year compared to last.
“The money we have received will allow us to provide a rebate to our families riding the bus for next school year.”
Those who have already paid for their bussing fees for next school year will receive a credit to their account that can be used for school fees.
Credits for each rider are as follows:
- Grades 1 - 12 will receive a credit of $21
- Kindergarten will receive a credit of $10.50
EIPS will use all additional money to offset increasing contractor costs and expenses for additional buses in high-capacity route areas. Boymook added that not only has the price of fuel gone up but, the price of repairing issues on buses has risen as well.
“This certainty and funding will provide some relief for our families and that we can manage our ride times.”
At this time it is not determined if EIPS schools will be taking fewer field trips due to the high price of fuel.
The program is expected to remain in place for the entire 2022-23 school year.
No word yet on what the Elk Island Catholic School Division will do with the extra funding.