This week Maryland State Delegate Jolene Ivey (D- Cheverly) wrote to community groups and listserves asking residents for their thoughts on ways the legislature could help resolve a transportation issue in the county.
In the budget presented by Superintendent Dr. William Hite busing for students going to out-of-boundary schools or specialty schools, would be eliminated. During the board meeting before the plan was adopted Hite said after his proposal returned from the county council where it must also be approved for final approval by the board of education he hoped to also present a plan where parents of these students could keep school buses for their children by paying a fee. That plan ran into a bump when Ivey announced the results of an Attorney General’s opinion which said any attempt to enact the fee without legislative approval would be a violation of the constitution.
Now less than two weeks before the General Assembly adjourns for the year (maybe they are rumored to be returning in the summer for a special redistricting session) legislators from the county are rushing to help find a solution. Three proposals Ivey announced that are under consideration are allowing the buses to be eliminated, enacting the law the schools need to allow for the fee, or the county passing a telephone tax which could be directed for public school transportation.
We asked our readers to weigh in on the questions and the results are finally in!
The legislature passing a law allowing the school district to charge a fee for “specialty” school busing — 138 votes
A telephone tax spread countywide directed toward school transportation funding — 128 votes
Elimination of transportation for “specialty” school busing — 8 votes