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MLA Allard named to student transportation task force

Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard will join a number of her legislative colleagues on a new taskforce set up to provide recommendations on the future of student transportation across the province. Members will focus on issues related to student transportation, including student safety, costs, eligibility, partner collaboration and the responsibilities of school authorities, with the scope of the file covering both rural and urban publically funded school systems.

Allard says a 2018 public consultation, which involved around 12,000 Albertans, had inconclusive results and she hopes a new set of voices and minds can help drum up some new ideas.

“As a mother I would say you want your kids transported safely to school, but you also want it to be done with the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars and the least amount of time they need to spend on that bus,” she explains.

Allard adds, while she knows school bus issues can vary from region to region, she believes the Grande Prairie area, for the most part, is doing a good job when it comes to getting students where they need to go.

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“I haven’t had a huge number of calls about bussing, but largely we are one of the jurisdictions that does it fairly well, not perfect.”

Of 61 school boards across the province, 43 have entered into a cooperative transportation agreement to provide transportation services with a neighbouring board, including two school boards in the Grande Prairie area.

Other political appointees to the task force include the chair, MLA for Lethbridge-East Nathan Neudorf, Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner, and Calgary-South East MLA Matt Jones.

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