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Parents Outraged Over School Bus Fees

TEMECULA ( — Some parents are upset that school districts in Southern California are charging for students to ride the bus.

Amber Hughes, who had recently moved to Temecula from Tennessee, suffered sticker shock. She just learned that she will have to pay $1,100 for her two kids to ride the school bus in the Temecula Valley Unified School District.

"Everything is very expensive," Hughes said. "I didn't think that transportation was going to be an issue."

The fees also caught Jennifer Schermerhorn off caught. She moved to Temecula from Ohio last year. "Coming from Ohio where we grew up, it was also included in your parents' state taxes," Schermerhorn said.

The school district said the bus fees have been around for years, and the state only provides a small chunk of the millions it costs the district to run its buses.

The Temecula Valley Unified School District released a statement that readsL "To offset some of the costs associated with transporting students, TVUSD charges a fee for bus service, consistent with district's across the state of California. It is important to note that while bus service is not mandated by the State of California for school district's to provide, it continues to be a priority for TVUSD, despite the encroachment on the general fund."

Other school districts in Southern California also have school bus fees. CBS2/KCAL9 found the Newport-Mesa Unified School District charges an annual fee of $180 per child. The Orange Unified School District charges $335. The Corona-Norco Unified School District charges $378. The Menifee Unified School District charges $550. The Capistrano Unified School District charges $575. But students in the Perris Union High School District ride the school bus for free.

"We're trying to figure out a way to carpool or make it happen, because we just can't afford $1,100," Hughes said.

Some school districts offer payment plans and reduced bus fees depending on the family income.

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