New school transport reimbursement rate Ok’d in split vote

The Princeton School District will now pay a flat $250 rate per family per year if a family is in the Princeton district and is transporting a student to a public school outside the district.

The new contract, which the School Board approved in a split vote on Nov. 26, replaces the old one in which the district had to determine the mileage and reimburse on the federal mileage rate. The transportation reimbursement is only for transporting the student to the boundary of the Princeton School District. There is no reimbursement for the transport beyond the boundary to get to and from the other public school the student is attending.

During the vote, Board Members Craig Johnson, Eric Minks, Deb Ulm and Howard Vaillancourt voted yes and members Jeremy Miller and Chuck Nagle voted no. Member Chad Young was absent.

Nagle said afterward that he voted no because a Princeton School District consulting attorney had not signed off on the new contract. Miller said he voted no because he felt there should have been more clarification on the matter.

Johnson, appearing to speak for the majority of the board members, said he felt comfortable with approving the new contract because it is based on the same contract that the Big Lake has for its schools and its attorney approved that contract.

Nagle said he wanted to make sure the district doesn’t end up with some liability problem later.

Princeton School District Director of Business Services Michelle Czech told the board members that under the old system of reimbursing for mileage the district had to make inquiries to check on the attendance of the student in the other school district.

Czech noted that last year the district spent more than $4,000 to reimburse the mileage for this transport. She estimated that under the new contract, it should go down to $3,500.