Fredonia approves costly transportation agreement

The Fredonia Central School District addressed the transportation needs for a student enrolled in an out of district placement program in Buffalo at a recent meeting of the Fredonia Board of Education.

The district approved a transportation contract extension with Transpo Bus Line to transport a student from their residence to Summit Academy in Buffalo each school day at a rate of $657.23 per day.

Fredonia Superintendent Dr. Brad Zilliox said, “We talked numerous times about, in moments, the price tag is very high – however, this really gets back to what the student needs and us really making sure that we’re putting the student in the best possible position to be successful as a young person.”

The Board of Education asked about ways to lower the cost of the transportation agreement, including seeking an agreement with nearby districts for similar transportation needs. Board of Education member Sheila Hahn highlighted that for 200 days of transportation under the agreement, the cost would total $131,446.

As noted by Business Administrator John Forbes, the cost is aided by New York state at approximately 70% reimbursement to the district. “That still comes out of our pockets as taxpayers,” Hahn said.

“I don’t think we’re questioning the decision. I think we’re just saying, ‘What is the most efficient and cost-effective way to do that?’,” said Board of Education member Lisa Powell Fortna. “… I think we just have to ask questions to be responsible.”

The Board later voted unanimously to approve the agreement.

Summit Academy is described on its website as “an alternative education program for children with autism and other developmental disabilities whose needs cannot be met in a local public school program.”


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