Monday, October 12, 2009

HoCo Schools Heart Cars

WaPo has a story today on how some students in Loudoun are up in arms about a decision to hike the cost of a campus parking permit from $25 to $200. An accompanying chart shows Howard and Anne Arundel charge some of the lowest fees, just $15.

Loudoun's decision apparently has little to do with carbon emissions or lifestyle choices.

School board members say they are trying to catch up to prices charged in nearby districts and need to make up for a $70 million budget shortfall largely created by cuts in county funding. Fairfax County also charges $200 for parking, but most schools in the Washington region charge less than $100.

As public policy, the higher fees do not seem to be accomplishing much, except to raise funds.

Despite months of protests on Facebook, no Loudoun high schools has reported significantly fewer parkers, although several carpool groups share passes. There also hasn't been a surge in upperclassmen riding the bus, schools spokesman Wayde B. Byard said. The district hopes to raise more than a half-million dollars through the permit sales and is on course to do so, he said.

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