Bus travel fee hikes of up to $800 per child have angered parents.February 27, 2013 4:34am
Newly introduced school bus travel fees of up to $800 per child have angered Kyabram and district parents.
Students who bypass one school to attend another school of like are now required to pay to travel on a bus.
Parents received letters from the convening school — Kyabram P-12 College — in January informing them of the outcome of a review of bus services at Kyabram undertaken by Public Transport Victoria last year.
The review revealed there were 113 students using public transport for free when they were not entitled to.
The letter came as shock to Stanhope mother-of-two Rachel O’Brien who returned from a family holiday in Queensland to learn she must pay almost $1600 for her two sons to travel on a bus to Kyabram P-12 College.
Mrs O’Brien said the school informed her last year that she would not be billed for the travel after initially paying for her eldest son to travel on the bus the first year of high school.
“I thought I’d won the lottery,” she said.
“Now I’ve got no idea how I’ll be able to come up with the funds.
“My children catch the bus to what I think is the most decent school closest to me which is located 16
“My eldest son chose the school, and he’s really happy there.
“I don’t know how we’re going to come up with the money.”
Kim Andrews, whose children catch the bus at the same stop, said she too was unhappy with the situation.
“This is just another way of extracting more money from already struggling families trying to provide an education for their children,” she said.
“Obviously the free education tag went missing along with the choice of schools we wish to send our children to,” she said.
Jenni Serra’s three sons also travel on the bus to St Augustine’s P-12 College.
She is expected to pay for her youngest son Morrie to use the bus because he is bypassing the nearest Catholic school at Rushworth.
“We have decided to send Morrie to St Augustine’s because we thought it would be easier for his transition into Year 7,” Mrs Serra said.
“I’d like somebody to explain to myself and my husband how sending one child to one school and two to another school in a different town is helping them enjoy their schooling years.”
Kyabram P-12 College principal Stuart Bott said it was the snowball effect he feared most.
“If we lost some families because of this, we may lose teachers, and then who knows what might happen?”
Mr Bott said he invites concerned parents to meet with him to discuss their situation.
He said he could offer a ‘‘solution’’.
He was not prepared to relate to the Free Press just what that solution was.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
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When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
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A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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