Funding could bolster school bus service

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District will be applying to the Ministry of Education’s recently announced Student Transportation Fund.

  • Aug. 16, 2016 4:00 p.m.

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District will be applying to the Ministry of Education’s recently announced Student Transportation Fund for additional funding to support school bus services for local students.

On Aug. 10, Minister of Education Mike Bernier announced the creation of the $14.7 million fund which is available to help increase student transportation services. The funding will be provided based on district-by-district applications, due to the Ministry no later than September 30.

Although additional funds will not be in place by the time students head back to school on September 6, if the district’s application is successful, funds should be received later in the Fall.

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District Official Trustee Mike McKay comments the possible additional funding is welcome news.

“We had already been planning to do a transportation study in the Fall as part of an overall district operational review, so the opportunity to access the new funding will help to inform that work.”

Superintendent of Schools Glenn Borthistle reports approximately 2,500 students in the school district are transported each day by school bus, with buses travelling 5,700 km per day. He adds the district’s transportation and administrative team will be looking at the greatest needs of the entire district and will be putting forward a proposal to the ministry by the deadline.

“This is good news for students and families as we begin the school year. If our submission to the ministry is approved, the district will be able to improve the current transportation services to best meet the needs of our students and families.”

School District can apply for up to $561,925.

At the beginning of each new school year North Okanagan-Shuswap School District sends a postcard to eligible bus students letting them know of stops, routes and times. Families should be receiving these by late August. This information is also available on the school district’s website at www.sd83.bc.ca. Click on the yellow school bus and follow the online prompts.

The community will be advised of any bus route changes that result from the increased funding once those decisions are made later this fall.

Salmon Arm Observer