Opting-Out of School Fundraisers

In my town they charge a fee to ride the school bus. It’s $200 per kid UNLESS you are K-6 and live more than 2 miles from the school, but that’s only because the state says they have to bus those kids for free. If you live 2 miles or less or are in grades 7 through 12, you’re paying.

In my town there are basically 2 groups of people: those that think the bus fee is A-OK (they probably live more than 2 miles from the school and have young kids) and those that think it’s not. Basically, the people that ride for free (they think it’s fine) and the people that have to pay (we’re not such fans). There are situations where one person pays for the bus and their next door neighbor does not. The better neighborhoods are outside of the 2 mile mark, so kids from more affluent families are not paying to ride. It’s strange.

So, those of us that have to pay are starting to talk. The schools rely on fundraisers. I usually spend $300-$500/year on fundraisers. Other families spend more if they can get grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to buy. Guess what? I’m not doing it next year. And neither are a lot of the other pay-to-ride families. Instead, I’m putting the money towards the bus fee.

My household budget only goes so far. If you want to make me pay for the school bus, I’m going to have to make cuts in other areas. I’m choosing to make those cuts in my fundraiser budget. Congratulations – you’ll get your bus fee, but that’s it.

Does your school district charge a fee to ride the bus? Have you spent less on fundraisers or stopped participating in them all together to pay the fee?


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