Legislators advance ban on school bus fees

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A legislative committee has endorsed a bill that would prohibit Indiana's public school districts from charging fees for school bus service.

The Senate's education committee voted 7-3 Wednesday in favor of the proposal. It follows protests from parents in a suburban Indianapolis district who last fall began facing bus fees of at least $40 per month per child.

Leaders of the Franklin Township district say eliminating free bus service was necessary to help close an $8 million budget shortfall. Attorney General Greg Zoeller has said he believes the district acted unconstitutionally by contracting with an outside agency and then imposing the arrangement on parents.

The House approved the bill last month. It now faces consideration by the Senate appropriations committee before advancing to the full Senate.

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