The Prince Rupert school district’s busing budget increased from $0 to slightly more than $0 last week.
At its latest school board meeting, the board of education approved and welcomed a $117,000 distribution from the province, even if it turned into a major headache.
While the leadership of Port Edward and Metlakatla should be applauded for finding a coordinated solution and presenting it to the district, the money dropped from ministry heaven has led frantic Prince Rupert families to fight like wolves for what scrap funding remains for their students who live in town.
Prince Rupert is a very unique school district in many ways. Getting kids to classrooms involves, in two cases, a ferry, and a 20-minute commute from a rural municipality. Those children face separate challenges from the ones who already live in the confines of Kaien Island. They would be as stranded as the Hanjin Scarlet crew had school started and no solution was found in time for September.
It absolutely sucks for Prince Rupert parents who need to get their young kids to school, which in some instances, is a fair distance. But the responsibility lies on their shoulders. It’s the new reality of decisions made by the elected school board staring down $2.4 million in budget cuts last spring.
Those same Prince Rupert parents were taken care of the only way they could have been with what was left, with reduced bus pass fare. They’ll have to utilize it, or find another way. Their students’ education depends on it.