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Questions surrounding transportation fees in Lewis-Palmer School District 38

Lewis-Palmer District 38 buses
Posted at 11:05 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 09:29:13-04

MONUMENT — Students in the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 return Wednesday, but some are raising concerns in regards to fees.

Middle school children are returning with a hybrid model, but are still required to pay the full transportation fee.

The district says all fees, including transportation, were determined in the spring, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. They won't be adjusted until the end of the semester when they have more data.

"We are charging $200 for everyone or they can pick a semester rate of $100," said Shanna Seelye, Chief Financial Officer at Lewis-Palmer School District 38.

Families will have to pay the fee upfront which helps the district determine the routes that are needed and the number of students on each bus. Some of the other fees, the district is looking to adjust right now but depends on the student's learning model.

"For students enrolling in an online situation, we will be adjusting the fees so they are only charged for the items they are taking advantage of," said Seelye.

The district says if they continue with the hybrid model into the second semester or the majority of the semester, families will be given credits or refunds.

Brendan Burns has two children in the district and supports how the district is handling fees.

"Honestly, I'm surprised the fees aren't higher because I think it's the least we can do as parents in one of the best school districts in Colorado," said Burns.

He says it's important for the community to support the district, especially with the problems they've had with transportation in the past.

"My child is here in Forest Lakes and it takes 45 to 50 minutes to come home every day on the middle school bus. That is ridiculous, it takes less time than that to get to Denver," said Burns.

He says the fee is a small price to pay to ensure the district has all the resources they need.

"We are fortunate in District 38 to have this busing program. What we need is more money into the busing program, more money into transportation. Certainly not less," said Burns.

He says he appreciates all that the district is doing to ensure children still have a source of transportation.

The district says it is working with families who are unable to pay the transportation fee.

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