No poor parking here

Parking passes prove too expensive for a student budget


by Caroline Cravens, Assistant Editor

Parking passes should not be eliminated, but the price should be easier for students to pay. There are legal reasons for why a parking pass is necessary, but $40 is a bit much for a high school parking pass.

Parking passes are a district-wide requirement. At all five LISD high schools the price is $40, but it hasn’t always been that way. For the 2012 school year the price of a parking pass was $20, then in 2013 the price changed to $40. Students that attend two schools are only required to pay for one parking pass to their home school. Every new school year students are required to buy a new pass and can’t use a pass from a previous year.

In economy cars, it costs about $40 to fill the car up with gas. Depending on how often the fill up is, that could be one week or two weeks of gas money that a parking pass just replaced. Looking at things short term (which is what students often do), the gas is more necessary. The school shouldn’t take a week or two’s worth of gas money away from students just so they can park on campus.

Driving for high schoolers is already expensive. A new driver’s insurance can get quite pricey, not counting little incidents that new drivers often have. The parking pass is just another $40 to add on top of an already expensive machine. Some students need to come to school early or stay late and their parents can’t drive them. Their car is necessary and it’s not fair that they are required to pay $40 for a solution to getting to school.

That expensive machine isn’t always the newest version of its kind for most students. That means that car repairs also have to be considered when summing up the cost. There are so many things to factor in, and very few of them are inexpensive. No part of owning a car is cheap. The costs  are enormous for driving, and not all students have a job to assist their parents in the car costs. $40 is not exactly a small amount of money; for the student that earns $8 an hour, that’s 5 hours of work.

However, one benefit of the parking pass is the ability to file a police report when accidents happen. If a student does not have a parking pass, a police report cannot be filed. In the long run, if an accident does come up, the parking pass is useful.

$40 is just too much for a high school student parking pass. The price should be reduced in some way.  A more reasonable solution would be to make students pay $40 for their first parking pass, and then $10 or $15 for the next years they need a parking pass.  This way students aren’t paying $80 worth of parking if they drive their junior and senior years. The AP office offers payment plans, but by the end of the year a student has still spent $40. Which is still unreasonable.