The St. Lucie County School District to charge non-profits for transportation to after-school care

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. -- Students in St. Lucie County head back to school on Monday.

But, when school is done for the day, many head to after school programs or child care.

The district in the past has provided transportation from schools to after school programs at various organizations such as the YMCA or The Boys and Girl Club.

This year, the district is asking those non-profits to foot the bill.

The St. Lucie County School district is implementing a Pay to Ride program, asking the non-profits to pay for the transportation.

The district says the program could, in turn, give it more money to afford more bus stops before and after school to accommodate more families.

Michael Sancho, CEO of The Boys and Girls Club says it will likely cost the non-profit organization about $40,000 per school year.

That's money, he says, that could be used to expand youth services or hire more staff. However, he says the organization has room in the budget and is organizing fundraisers.

They are also looking to purchase a bus that could be used to pick up students as needed so that students have no obstacles in getting to a safe after-school location.

"We have, you know, gang violence that's taking place that's also extended into Port St. Lucie. We also have major thoroughfares throughout the county, so kids would have to cross streets to get to the clubs. So it's just a child safety issue of kids going to a positive place at 3 PM when school gets out," Sancho said.

The school district also says that this year it will also be charging families that live within 2 miles of the school $200 per student per school year for transportation to after school programs.

Sancho says the Boys and Girls Club will also aim to cover that cost for families they serve.

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