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By Brian Park
The daily fee to transport Capistrano Unified School District students is set to go up next year after the school board approved a 20 percent increase last Wednesday.
The increase raises the current daily school bus fee from $2.68 to $3.22. The increase will help mitigate the rising cost of fuel, according to district staff.
The board of trustees approved the increase by a 5-1 vote, with Trustee Ellen Addonizio supplying the lone opposing vote and Trustee Amy Hanacek absent.
Transportation costs for school districts are not typically funded by the state, according to Deputy Superintendent Clark Hampton. The state education code caps the maximum allowable fee at $8.82 per day, which is roughly equal to the actual cost, Hampton said. Most of the funding for school buses comes from the district’s general fund.
Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches are also eligible for free transportation.
The last fee increase was approved in 2009.