Dallastown parents and daycare workers outraged over school bus fee

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DALLASTOWN, Pa. -- Dallastown Area School District will be requiring daycare centers to pay $2 per student per day to use their school buses.

That means daycare centers will have to pay a fee for students to use the bus who travel from daycare to school or from school to aftercare.

The fee goes into effect January 2017.

Parents and daycare workers gathered at Dallastown Area High School to express their concerns.

Janis Grimm, who works at Kidzoo Childcare Center, said, "Daycare centers, we get by on the tuition parents pay us, so this fee I'm going to have to pass back onto the parents and I don't like that."

Two dollars per day per child can add up to a hefty price tag. Parents are afraid they're going to be the ones to pay the bill.

Melissa Rangel, who has a daughter in 1st grade and a toddler said, "They're talking about raising their daycare fees $10 a week to cover the cost of transportation."

In a letter, Dallastown Area School District said the reason for the fee is because it's facing a number of financial challenges. But daycare workers believe that additional fee could cost them business.

Grimm said, "I think probably with my older students that go to Dallastown Intermediate I think parents might consider just leaving their children home instead of putting them in daycare to save money."

Daycare centers just got a letter Tuesday in the mail about the fee.

Grimm said, "I think it's sort of blindsided to us because we weren't told about this until we got a letter and it already sounds like a done deal."

Parents are asking school board members to reconsider the payment.

Rangel said, "We would like for the fee to be dismissed. I mean it's going to be $40 a month per child. So if you have 2-3 children, that's enormous."

Board members said this decision was already approved for this year's school budget.

Daycare centers have to make the decision to pay the fee by August 19. If they don't pay, the school board will discontinue bus services to that daycare center for students.