District 214 Asks State to Waive $50 Driver's Ed Cap

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Byline: Diana Wallace Daily Herald Staff Writer

Despite protests from teachers and road safety advocates, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 has passed the first hurdle needed to raise the student fee for driver education.

By a 6-0 vote, the board agreed to ask the state for an exemption to a law that caps the amount schools can charge for driver education at $50.

The district wants permission to raise the fee up to $250 over the next five years, which they said still doesn't cover the cost of the program for the district but would merely put it in line with the price of other school courses.

Still, those who came to the school board meeting this week to speak against the move said raising the fee would be nothing short of "economic discrimination."

"There are a lot of people out there who can pay, but it hurts them dearly," said Frank J. Gruber IV, a Northern Illinois University professor who trains driver education teachers. Increasing the fee would cause unequal access to a program schools are required to offer, he said. …